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r,A'rra JiTTHiK, mem COURT, cAw 

L O N I) O N 



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They do we wrong who say I come no more 
"When once I knock and faAL to find you in; 
For every day I stand outside your door, 
And fad you wake and nse to fight end win, 




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MENT 37 






























SHEEP 128 












COAL 186 


GOLD 190 

DIAMONDS .... .... 195 

IRON AND STEEL ... . , . . . 195 


TIN 19J 

OPALS 199 





ONE hundred and forty-one years ago Australia was so 
little known to the white races that, when Governor 
Arthur Phillip landed at Sydney Cove on January 26, 
1 788, he did not know whether the land he had been sent 
out to govern and populate was a continent or a group 
of islands. So little was known of the great land beneath 
the Southern Cross by mariners who had sailed the 
southern seas that, yoyaging from London to Port Jack- 
son, they sailed wide round the south coast of Tasmania 
ignorant of Bass Strait. 

Fifty years ago, Australia might be likened to an 
overgrown schoolboy only just becoming aware of the 
strength that was his inheritance; hesitating; acknowledg- 
ing yet not understanding, the latent powers of body and 
mind with which he was endowed; afraid to test himself; 
groping forward with his chief interest centred upon the 
minor matters immediately surrounding him. 

A population of about two millions, with interests 
almost entirely parochial and with but little knowledge of 
the great world seething to the north, far on the other 
side of the globe a nation in embryo, as if set apart for 
some special purpose by a Supreme Master who chose to 
guide, but not to reveal 

Yet into the parochialism that made colonial politics 
of supreme importance, the rivalry between the various 
independent colonies, came the driving power of gold. 
Vast areas of land hitherto unknown were found to 
contain enormous wealth. From the far places of the 


world men and women streamed to the world-wide lure. 
For a time it was uncertain whether Australia would be 
swamped as a nation or would emerge from the test puri- 
fied and sufficiently strong to absorb the foreign elements 
thrust upon her. 

The fact that Australia came through the gold-days 
with strength unimpaired shows the inherent power of her 
people. She had learned a lesson 5 her eyes were lifted 
beyond the length of coastline which before had bounded 
her horizon. She realized that outside her boundaries 
lay countries and people from which she had indeed 
sprung, but with which she had only the slender thread 
of connection comprised in the two familiar words "Col- 
onial Office." Dimly she realized that far over the seas 
lay the mother country which had given her birth. Again 
and again her people had wandered down to Farm Cove 
to watch a new Governor step from his launch, surrounded 
by his glittering retinue j conscious that he had come from 
a far land whose customs were like, yet strangely unlike, 
their own. 

And yet the soul of Australia lay dormant. Not yet 
was she to awake, and with one long stretch feel in her 
limbs the powers that had grown, almost unconsciously, 
through nearly a hundred years. Not yet was she to arise 
in her vigour and claim and take her true place in the 
councils of the nations. 

For the moment she was to remain quiescent, watch- 
ing her children pass along the ill-paved, macadamised, 
or dirt-made roads winding between the low small-win- 
dowed houses of her towns and cities* In quiet 
adolescence she was to watch her children stumble 
over the raised tram-lines that disfigured her streets, 
and dodge under the heads of the horses drawing 
hackney-coaches; her men dressed in high silk hats 
and cut-away coats close-fitting over tight-strapped 


trousers j her women floating along with mincing feet 
and wide-spread crinoline skirts later to be succeeded by 
high-puffed sleeves and that wonderful abnormality, the 
bustle. She was to watch the English garrison soldiers 
in their red and blue uniforms, with bands loudly blaring, 
march through her streets, as if through those of a con- 
quered city, and smile. 

She could not dream, young mother of a nation, that 
before another half-century had passed she would be 
sending her sons to the battle-fields of Gallipoli, Flan- 
ders, and Palestine, so that by their strength and blood 
she could claim for herself a voice in the complex destiny 
of this planet. Yet on her bosom were eyes already 
turned to the new horizon j men who were dreaming 
of Australia as one nation % nation whose voice must be 
listened to by the people of empires whose lands lay 
thousands of miles away. 

Twice Australia had blooded her sons. Once on the 
sands of Egypt, to avenge the death of Gordon the 
empire-builder; once on the wide veldts of Africa, to 
preserve to the motherland the lands she had created 
from the wilds and the wealth her sons were garnering. 

Beside the mighty quest of future years these were 
but minor adventures, almost to count as the escapades 
of adolescence. Australia was not yet ready. Above 
her the skies were blue and bright there were no signs 
of the storm-clouds that, even then, were gathering over 
Europe to spread until they covered the whole earth. 
For nearly another quarter of a century Australia was 
to content herself, almost exclusively, with her domestic 
concerns. Slowly, surely, she was setting her house in 
order, unaware of the inferno of war lying on her road, 
yet guided by an all-seeing Providence to make ready for 
the day of awakening and trial. 

Federation came, and Australia became consdous that 


she had reached maturity. The long trips to England 
undertaken by her representatives grew from journeys of 
ceremony and celebration to earnest discourses on world- 
wide problems with the men who ruled the Empire of 
Greater Britain. At home she assimilated the ideas 
brought from abroad. In 1879 the once unknown lands, 
so close to her towns and cities, were conquered and now 
grew golden harvests. Her plains were lined with her 
railways; her coastal vessels sped from port to port along 
the huge coastline south, west, and north again from 
Cooktown to Derby and back to Cooktown. In her ports 
assembled the ships of all nations of the world. From 
her mountains and plains she garnered her wealth, to 
exchange it for the commodities brought to her doors. 
Australia was awakening to what? 

With the sudden mighty anger of a tornado the 
war-clouds burst over Europe and the motherland 
thirteen thousand miles away. Yet Australia heard. It 
was as if she had been awaiting the signal to rise to her 
full strength the lion's cub, with teeth bared and claws 

"To the last man and the last shilling!" Across 
seas and soils the message flashed to the land that had 
given Australia birth. And well the promise was kept* 
Twenty thousand men forthwith! Twenty thousand men 
for the adventure in Europe and that number was filled 
within a few hours of the moment when the recruiting 
booths opened their doors. Twenty thousand men stood 
without, clamouring for a chance to show the nations of 
the old world that Australia had awakened j clamouring 
for arms and uniforms, that they might join their brothers 
on the journey to the far-flung battle-fields. Later on 
those twenty thousand became four hundred thousand* 

The Great War of 1914-18 made Australia a nation. 
War may be hateful} it may be unnecessary; but it is 


and from its blood-stained battle-fields new nations 
spring. How long, without the stress of battle, would 
Australia have remained self-centred and quiescent? A 
century might have passed before the Southern Cross 
nation found and realised her strength. Generations 
might have passed before the old-world empires of 
Europe and Asia would have listened to Australia's voice 
and understood her language. 

From the war-torn fields of Europe and Asia the 
sons of Australia came home, conscious of the heritage 
that was theirs. They came back to those who, not 
yet having suffered the agonies of battle, had learned 
and suffered much. The new nation was awake! Old 
shibboleths had disappeared 5 new thoughts, new stan- 
dards, new ideals had taken their place. Australia had 
awakened never to sleep again. 


FOR many years prior to 1878 politics in New South 
Wales had consisted of a series of duels between the fol- 
lowers of Sir Henry Parkes and those of Sir John Robert- 
son. The general elections of 1878 resulted in a very plain 
intimation from the electors that they had become tired 
of politics and wanted government. Neither of the 
leaders had a sufficient majority to take office. There was 
no third party. Either another election had to be fought 
or a coalition formed. Wise councils prevailed, and the 
Parkes-Robertson Ministry was formed on December 21, 

Twelve years earlier, in 1866, Sir Henry Parkes had 
guided through Parliament a Public School Act which 
placed the expenditure for primary education under a 
Council for Education. The Council was given the widest 
powers, including provision for granting aid, under re- 
strictions, to denominational schools. The Act provided 
that in all schools instruction was to be secular and re- 
UgiouS) the term "secular" being made to include general 
religious teaching. 

The new Act of 1880, introduced to Parliament 
by Sir Henry Parkes, had for one of its principal objects 
the withdrawal of financial aid from denominational 
schools. This was m compliance with public feeling at 
the moment; in many influential quarters there had been 
expressed the opinion that public money should not be 
spent on denominational teaching. Another provision of 
the Act brought education under the direction of a Mini- 


ter of the Crown and made school-teachers public servants. 
The Act, however, retained in the public schools the 
"secular-religious teaching" provided under the previous 

A Great International Exhibition was held in the 
Inner Domain, Sydney, during 1880, the building (the 
Garden Palace) having been erected specially for the 
occasion. The Exhibition closed on April 20, 1880, but 
the building was retained, and for some considerable time 
housed a number of the exhibits. On the night of Sep- 
tember 22, 1882, it was totally destroyed by fire. 

A conference of Australian Premiers was held at 
the end of the year 1880 to consider the Chinese immi- 
gration question now becoming a matter of vital import- 
ance to Australia. For many years the gold-miners and 
trades-unionists had agitated against the unrestricted 
admission of Asiatics. The employment of Chinese on 
the ships of the Australian Steam Navigation Company 
brought the question to a head. This Company held 
the Australian mail contract, and, as its headquarters were 
in Sydney, the ships were held up on their return to their 
home port. The strike was supported by the trades 
unions in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South 
Australia, and as far away as New Zealand* The 
Queensland Government also supported the strikers, in- 
timating to the Company that if the Chinese were not 
discharged it would withdraw its mail subsidy. After 
long negotiations the Company discharged the Chinese 

For the first time in the history of Australia the 
trades unions discovered their strength. Arrangements 
were immediately put in hand for the holding of an in- 
tercolonial trades-union congress. This was held in Syd- 
ney, and emphatically condemned the importation of 
Chinese into the country, calling upon the New South 


Wales Government to restrict their immigration by the 
imposition of an entrance tax. 

New South Wales had not been the only colony to 
feel the effects of Chinese immigration. Queensland 
suffered perhaps more severely than any of the other 
colonies. Yet Victoria and South Australia were almost 
overrun with Asiatics. Sir Henry Parkes, who had for 
some time agitated for a system of intercolonial congress, 
seized the obvious opportunity and summoned a confer- 
ence of Colonial Premiers. At that conference he sub- 
mitted the motion: "That in the opinion of this Confer- 
ence the grave consequences that must follow the 
influx of large numbers of Chinese call in a special manner 
for the concerted action of all the colonies, both in repre- 
sentations to the Imperial Government and in local 

Acts of Parliament restricting Chinese immigration 
were passed by the various Colonial Governments. New 
South Wales and Victoria decreed that vessels could only 
carry one Chinese passenger to every 100 tons burthen, 
and imposed an entrance fee of 10 on every Chinese 
immigrant $ this was done despite strong opposition from 
the two Legislative Councils. In Victoria, Chinese were 
specially debarred from voting at parliamentary and muni- 
cipal elections. In South Australia vessels were allowed 
to carry one Chinese passenger to each ten tons of ship- 
ping, the Northern Territory being excluded from that 
provision. Queensland increased the stringency of her 
restrictions on Chinese immigration in 1884. Not more 
than one Chinese was allowed to each 15 tons of shipping 
and an entrance fee of 30 was imposed. Western 
Australia did not impose any restrictions on the entry 
of Chinese into her territory until 1886j it then expressly 
exempted from the Exclusion Act those Chinese who 
entered the country under contract. 

The Conference of Premiers to deal with Chinese 


immigration gave Sir Henry Parkes an opportunity to 
bring forward a motion for the establishment of some 
central authority to deal with the many intercolonial ques- 
tions always arising. He managed to secure some sup- 
port from the Premiers sufficient to obtain the drafting 
of a scheme. Then, for a time, the matter was shelved. 

The Parkes Ministry came to grief at the end of 
1882 over Sir John Robertson's Land Bill. Sir Alexander 
Stuart, formerly a protege of Sir John Robertson, took 
office as Premier and Colonial Secretary. His first 
measure was to rectify the mistakes existing in Sir John 
Robertson's Land Act of 1861, which, it was claimed, 
had succeeded in encouraging "peacocking" by the acquisi- 
tion of volunteer land orders and the selection of water- 
frontages in positions that left large areas of land water- 
less. While the Act had succeeded in securing some 
honest settlers, it afforded a great opening to a large army 
of rogues who, taking up land on the squatters' runs, 
"settled" there with the sole object of compelling the 
squatters to buy them out at high prices. 

Early in the year 1885 the news was received in 
Sydney of the capture of Khartoum and the death of 
General Gordon. A letter in the Sydney Morning 
Herald from Sir Edward Strickland suggested that Aus- 
tralia should offer military assistance to Great Britain. 
The Premier, Sir Alexander Stuart, was in New Zealand 
at the time, but W. B. Dalley, the acting Premier, called 
a special cabinet meeting, which decided that New South 
Wales should offer the mother country an expeditionary 
force of 500 infantry, supported by two batteries of field 
artillery armed with ten sixteen-pounders to be landed 
at Suakin, on the Red Sea, within thirty days of embark- 
ation. The offer was accepted by the British Govern- 
ment in regard to the troops and one battery, with the 
proviso that the contingent should be under the command- 
ing officer in the Sudan. 


The contingent left Sydney on March 3 and arrived 
at Suakin on the 29th. It was brigaded with the Guards 
and saw service at Tamai. This was the first military 
help offered to Great Britain by any of the colonies. 

Sir Alexander Stuart resigned office on October 6, 
1885, and George Richard Dibbs, who had held the port- 
folio of Colonial Treasurer under him, formed his first 
ministry. In the election fight of 1 885 Sir Henry Parkes 
ousted Dibbs from the St Leonards seat. Dibbs then 
contested and won at Murrumbldgee. The election re- 
sulted in Sir John Robertson again securing the premier- 
ship, only to resign office through ill-health in the follow- 
ing February. 

Sir Patrick Jennings, who had been Vice-President 
of the Executive Council under Sir Alexander Stuart, un- 
dertook to form a ministry. He managed to secure sup- 
port in his Cabinet from both sides of the House, but 
the elements of his ministry were too discordant, and he 
had to resign. Sir Henry Parkes now stepped into 
power, sweeping the polls at the 1887 elections. His 
ministry lasted until 1889, and the most notable measures 
passed in this Parliament were the establishment of a 
Standing Committee on public works and of an inde- 
pendent board of railway commissioners, and the ratifica- 
tion of the naval agreement made with England at the - 
Colonial Conference held in London in 1887. 

The last years of Sir Henry Parkes's political career 
were devoted to forwarding Federation. During the 
Premiers' Conference of 1890 he met with a severe acci- 
dent which enforced his absence from the colony's 
assembly. The presidency of the Federal Convention of 
1891 took him frequently from his office as Premier. 
When he returned to his parliamentary duties, he found 
that his personal influence had been greatly undermined* 
On bringing before the New South Wales Parliament the 
draft bill proposed by the Federal Convention he encoun- 


tered a very determined opposition led by George H. 
Reid. This opposition he met and defeated, but, instead 
of immediately attacking the opponents of the Federation 
Bill and forcing the measure through Parliament, he 
let it lie aside and gave preference to local matters. 
During 1891 came the general election of the colony, 
and although Parkes retained office in the new Parliament 
he only did so with the support of the newly formed 
Labour Party. Their support was withdrawn in the 
October of 1891, and Parkes resigned office and retired 
from politics. 

George Richard Dibbs again became Premier, taking 
office at the head of an avowedly protectionist ministry. 
After carrying through the protectionist tariff that had 
won him the elections, he went to England. There he 
engaged in strengthening the financial position not only 
of New South Wales but of Victoria, South Australia, 
Tasmania, and New Zealand, for which colonies he had 
been asked to act. While in England he received the 
honour of knighthood. 

When Dibbs returned to New South Wales he was 
the centre of one of the most sensational scenes that have 
ever taken place in Parliament. During one sitting of 
twenty-six hours and eighty-seven speeches he had to fight 
three censure motions. The first he defeated by thirty 
votes, the second by sixty-two votes, and the third by 
four votes. In 1893, during a financial crisis, his 
Government proclaimed all notes issued by local banks 
legal tender, thus stemming panic and restoring con- 
fidence. At the elections of 1894, fought largely on the 
fiscal question, Dibbs was severely defeated, and resigned. 

George H. Reid, who had led the opposition against 
Sir Henry Parkes for some time, accepted office and 
formed his ministry in 1894. His main programme was 
retrenchment and the revision of the finances of the 
colony. To remove the Public Service from political 


interference he created a non-political Board in which were 
invested all appointments and promotions. Another 
measure introduced by him was designed to break up the 
aggregation of big landed estates whose owners did not 
make full use of the soil. Further, he introduced a Land 
Tax, based mainly on the owners' own valuation of their 
property, but was prevented from adding to it an import- 
ant proviso, borrowed from the New Zealand Act, per- 
mitting the Government to buy any estate at the owner's 
valuation for tax. With the support of the Labour Party 
he remained in office until September 1899, when W. J. 
Lyne, the leader of the anti-federalists, accepted the 

The South African war commenced soon after Lyne 
assumed the premiership, and he immediately informed 
the Governor, Earl Beauchamp, that New South Wales 
was ready to despatch 1860 officers and men to assist the 
Empire's expeditionary forces. This offer was accepted 
by the British Government. 

In domestic matters Lyne tried to introduce women's 
suffrage, but his bill was rejected by the Legislative 
Council. In 1900 he was knighted, and entered the 
Federal Parliament as a member of the Barton Ministry. 

John See organized a ministry of New South Wales 
out of the members of the Lyn-e Cabinet and held the 
office of Premier until 1904. In that year he resigned 
and was succeeded by T. Waddell, much to the disgust 
of B. R. Wise, who had expected the reversion of the 
premiership. Again in 1904 there was a party re-shuffle, 
out of which Joseph Carruthers emerged as Premier at 
the head of a ministry of untried men, among whom Sir 
Charles Gregory Wade was Attorney-General. In Octo- 
ber 1907, Wade re-formed the party under his own 
premiership. For three years he led opportunist col- 
leagues in a difficult Parliament, dealing with industrial 
troubles and unwelcome social reforms with a stubborn 


straight-forwardness which gained him respect from all 
quarters. His parliament lasted until 1910. 

At the 1910 general elections the electors sent to 
Parliament a Labour majority under the leadership of 
James Sinclair Taylor McGowen the first Labour Pre- 
mier of New South Wales. McGowen took office in 
October 1910, and in 1911 was summoned to London to 
represent his State at the coronation of King George V. 
During his absence the leadership fell into the hands 
of an active subordinate, W. A. Holman; and on 
McGowen's return to Australia he was induced to accept 
the office of Colonial Treasurer, with a nominal premier- 
ship. In 1913 the Labour Ministry was completely re- 
cast, with W. A. Holman holding the premiership and 
McGowen as Minister for Labour. 

Holman did not long succeed in retaining the loyalty 
of the party within and without Parliament. He quarrelled 
with the "machine" over the conscription question, on 
which he supported the Federal Prime Minister, W. M. 
Hughes, and in 1916 he re-formed his ministry as a 
"National" one. 

The Holman National Ministry lasted until 1920. 
It was succeeded by the John Storey (Labour) ministry, 
which lasted eighteen months and was more remarkable 
for the silence of its leader than for the work accom- 
plished. Storey died while in office and was succeeded 
in the premiership by James Dooley, who retained office 
for only two months. Sir G. W. Fuller then held the 
reins of government for seven hours. Dooley came 
back to office and held the premiership for the Labour 
Party until April 1922. 

In that year Sir G. W. Fuller formed a coalition 
ministry out of the National and Country Party members 
returned from the 1922 general elections, and held office 
until June 1925, when John T. Lang, who had succeeded 
to the leadership of the Labour opposition, went with a 


big majority to the government. The Lang Parliament 
was remarkable for two measures. The first was an at- 
tempt, mainly by Lang alone, to impose a tax on news- 
papers per copy sold. Although warned by many of 
his own followers that such legislation was illegal, the 
Premier persisted in forcing the Bill through. The news- 
papers combined and resisted, and within a few months 
obtained a decision of the High Court that the legislation 
was unconstitutional. 

Had J. T. Lang studied Australian history he would 
have learned that, almost exactly one hundred years 
before he brought forward his newspaper legislation, 
Governor Darling had tried to muzzle criticism of his 
Government by the imposition of a similar tax. The then 
Chief Justice, Francis Forbes, declared a newspaper tax 
inconsistent with English law. The Governor accepted 
the advice, but two years later tried to impose a stamp 
duty on each copy of the newspapers sold. Again Forbes 
refused to certify that such legislation was legal. The in- 
cident was one of the main causes that brought about 
Darling's downfall and recall to England. The second 
noteworthy measure passed by the Lang Government was 
the 1926 Workers' Compensation Act which contained 
drastic amendments to the Act then in force, the weekly 
compensation payable was increased to a maximum of 
5 per week to all persons under contract of service 
receiving less than 750 per annum. The new Act was 
forced through Parliament as a party measure without 
discussion being allowed thereon, the gag being applied 
after the first six clauses were read. 

On October 8, 1927, the New South Wales general 
elections resulted in a severe defeat for the Labour 
government. T. R. Bavin, who had been Attorney-Gene- 
ral in the Fuller Government, assumed office as Premier. 
One of the first acts of this Government was to place 


the city of Sydney under three Commissioners, owing to 
the disrepute into which civic government had fallen. 
This was the city of Sydney's second experience of Com- 
mission rule, a previous abolition of the City Council 
having taken place some seventy-five years before. 


IN the colony of Victoria, at the beginning of the 
year 1877 the long-drawn-out fight between the Assembly 
and Legislative Council was drawing to a close. Sir 
Graham Berry and Charles Pearson had returned from 
England after their fruitless mission to persuade the Im- 
perial authorities to intervene in the dispute. The home 
authorities had declared, in no uncertain terms, that with 
self-government the colonies must settle their domestic 
differences within their borders. 

Sir Graham Berry had won the premiership (1877) 
after an election of notable heat. The programme which 
he presented to the new Parliament included some very 
controversial measures, particularly a land tax intended 
to break up large estates j a permanent provision for the 
payment of Members of Parliament (previously effected 
by short-time acts) j and a drastic measure of reform of 
the Legislative Council. The land bill was passed 
with little opposition, but the second chamber put forth all 
its strength to defeat the Payment of Members Bill. An 
attempt to "tack" the obnoxious measure on to the Appro- 
priations Bill resulted in the council refusing to pass 
appropriations, and leaving the Government without the 
money to carry on with. Then followed "Black Wed- 
nesday." Sir Graham Berry, to impress the situation 
forcibly on the electors, dismissed in one day a number 
of county court judges, police magistrates, goldfields 
wardens, and permanent heads of important departments 


of the administration, pleading that the council had re- 
fused him the money to pay their salaries. 

Berry's visit to England disturbed the Legislative 
Council. For five months after his return to Victoria 
he was in opposition, with Sir James Service in the pre- 
miership. The elections of 1880 swept him again into 
power, with a good majority. The Legislative Council 
was in a more complaisant mood, and an arrangement was 
come to, through intermediaries, by which the "payment 
for members" clauses were withdrawn from the Appropri- 
ations Bill, the Legislative Council undertaking to pass 
"payment for members" as a separate measure, though ex- 
pressly providing that none of the clauses of the still (to 
them) obnoxious bill should apply to the Upper House. 

During the year 1881 Sir Graham Berry was forced 
to appeal again to the electors. But first he had succeeded 
in forcing through Parliament a bill enacting some 
measure of reform in the Legislative Council. The term 
of appointment was limited, its numbers were increased 
from thirty-eight to forty-two, and in other ways it was 
modernized. But the electors were by this time tired of 
the continued bickerings between Sir Graham Berry and 
the Council, and they returned Sir B* O'Loghlen at the 
head of the Government. This ministry was not a strong 
one, but was willing to work with the Council for the 
general good of the country. 

Two years of ordered government, broken by no 
political fights, followed j then the elections of 1883 
brought back to Parliament Sir Graham Berry and Sir 
James Service, with almost equal numbers of followers. 
If Government was to function, a coalition was necessary, 
and this time Sir Graham Berry did not refuse to join in 
the ministry with Sir James Service, The coalition mini- 
stry was very successful, for the two leaders were able to 
bring into their joint cabinet the best material among their 
respective parties. The time of the Houses was devoted 


to constructive legislation, and some of the most important 
measures passed were the Public Service Act, which pro- 
vided for entrance into the service through examination 
and control by a non-political body; the Railways Man- 
agement Act, which freed the construction and control 
of the railways from political interference 5 a Discipline 
Act, organising the colony's defences 5 a Mallee Lands 
Act, throwing open to farmers millions of acres in the 
far north-west corner of the colony j and a Water Conser- 
vation Act, providing for the development of the Murray 
Valley lands by irrigation. 

Sir Graham Berry and Sir James Service were grow- 
ing old and weary of the political game. Perhaps the 
coalition, with a very large majority in Parliament, had 
taken the zest from the old strenuous political fights. In 
February 1886 they both resigned from office, leaving 
the government to their lieutenants, Duncan Gillies, who 
had held the Ministries of Public Instruction and Rail- 
ways, and Alfred Deakin, who had been Solicitor-General 
and Minister for Public Works in the coalition. 

The Gillies-Deakin ministry is unique in the history 
of the colony for a long period of peace and unexampled 
prosperity. A large and increasing revenue enabled the 
premier, Gillies, to pursue his favourite schemes in the 
expansion of the railways, tramways, wharves, and docks. 
Deakin, who took the portfolio of Water-supply, devoted 
much of his attention to irrigation in northern Victoria 
and especially the Murray Valley. In spite of the very 
large sums spent by the two leaders on their projects, the 
surplus revenue accumulated, in less than three years, to 
over 1,600,000 more than one-seventh of a year's in- 

In 1890 a wave of industrial unrest swept over 
Australia, involving every colony. Gillies' somewhat 
peculiar financial system could not accommodate itself to 
the strain, and on November 5, 1890, he was defeated in 


Parliament, and James Munro, who had acquired a great 
reputation as a financier through his English deals, as- 
sumed office. In spite of his reputation Munro could 
not meet the demands made on him, and he resigned 
office in 1892, accepting the succession to Sir Graham 
Berry as Agent-General for the colony in London. 

William Shiels, who had been Attorney-General and 
Minister for Railways in Munro's Ministry, and who was 
mainly responsible for the Amending Railways' Manage- 
ment Bill of 1891, took over the premiership, reorganis- 
ing the cabinet. His chief political achievement during 
his premiership was the extension of women's rights in 
connection with divorce. He held the office of Premier 
for not quite twelve months and was succeeded by J. B. 
Patterson, who retained the position for a year and eight 

George Turner succeeded to office and held the 
Government from September 1894 until December 1899 
five years of serious financial stress. During his ad- 
ministration there was imposed, for the first time in Vic- 
torian history, an income tax. He followed this with 
a Factories and Shops Act 5 a Credit Foncier Act, to pro- 
vide cheap money for farmers 5 and an Old Age Pensions 
Act. In 1897 he journeyed to London to represent his 
colony at the Diamond Jubilee and the Imperial Confer- 
ence. Incidentally he was given a D.C.L. degree at 
Oxford and an LL.D degree at Cambridge, and was also 

Towards the end of 1899, Turner was defeated in 
the House, after leading the case of Federation, so far 
as his State was concerned, to a successful issue. He was 
succeeded by Allan McLean, who held the premiership 
some eleven months before Sir George succeeded in turn- 
ing the tables and ousting him from office. At the first 
Federal Parliament elections in 1901, Turner resigned his 
seat in the State Parliament and contested and won the 


Federal Balaclava seat. A. J. Peacock took over the 
leadership of the Victorian Parliament, to hold it only 
until June 1902, when W. H. Irvine defeated him and 
formed a ministry which underwent many changes dur- 
ing its two years' existence. Thomas Bent, a keen-witted 
parliamentarian, of rough and ready manners, was the 
mainstay of this ministry, and to him belongs the credit 
of defeating the great railway strike of 1903. During 
this strike Irvine discovered that public servants could ex- 
ercise great pressure on their parliamentary representa- 
tives-, and, as a temporary measure, he carried an Act 
disfranchising them so far as the ordinary constituencies 
were concerned, but giving them members of their own. 
In 1904 he resigned the premiership to Bent, serving 
under him as a private member. 

The long terms of office of the Irvine-Bent Mini- 
stries came to an end on January 8, 1909, when Bent was 
defeated by John Murray, who retained office until 1912, 
when he resigned, leaving W. A. Watt to re-form the 
cabinet. In December 1913, Watt in turn suffered de- 
feat, and G. A, Elmslie, with a Labour Ministry, took the 
premiership, to hold it only for thirteen days, when Watt 
again became Premier. The Watt Parliament lasted until 
June 1914. 

In that year Sir A. J. Peacock again took over the 
Government, with John Murray as Chief Secretary. This 
ministry ruled until the end of 1917, when John Bowser 
formed a short-lived cabinet of four months. He then 
resigned the office of Premier to H. S. W. Lawson, and 
took the portfolios of Chief Secretary and Minister for 

After five years of office the Lawson Government 
went to the electors and was returned again to power with 
a good majority. Six months later the Premier re- 
organised his ministry, but at the end of the next month 
resigned the cares of the premiership to Sir A. J. Pea- 


cock. Three months later the Peacock Government was 
defeated and G. M. Prendergast formed a Labour Mini- 
stry. This Government held office for only four months} 
it then resigned and was succeeded by a John Allan 
Government, which lasted until the elections of 1927. 
Again the political pendulum swung, and the Labour 
Party, obtaining a working majority, took office. In 
1928 the Labour Party was in turn defeated and Sir 
William McPherson formed a ministry. 


ON March 25, 1876, William Morgan, chief secretary 
in the Boucaut Ministry, resigned office, intimating to 
his electors that he would not contest the seat at the 
general elections to be held the following year. Before 
the elections he went to England and, while there, heard 
that he had been nominated and returned at the head 
of the poll for his old constituency. He returned to 
South Australia, took his seat in the Council, and was, 
by unanimous vote of the Chamber, made its leader during 
the dispute with the Colton Ministry of 1876-7. On 
Boucaut forming his fourth ministry, Morgan accepted 
the portfolio of Chief Secretary, becoming Premier when 
Boucaut resigned in September 1 878 to take up a Supreme 
Court judgeship. In 1881 Morgan reconstructed his 
ministry, to meet defeat three months later and retire 
finally from politics. 

John Cox Bray took over the premiership on June 
24, 1881, and held office until June 1884. He was 
succeeded by John Colton, who held the leadership of 
the Government for a year, passing through Parliament 
during that period an Act embodying the principles of 
land and income taxation. In 1885, John W. Downer 
ousted Colton, only to make way for Thomas Playford, 


who in his Parliament carried through the first Austra- 
lian protective tariff. 

John Alexander Cockburn became Premier of South 
Australia in succession to Thomas Playford in June 1889, 
but managed to retain office only until August 1890. 
During that interval, however, he passed important Acts 
dealing with succession duties and a progressive tax on 
unimproved land values. In 1890, Playford succeeded 
in wresting the Government from Cockburn, to hold it 
until June 1892, when he was defeated by F. W. Holder, 
who held office for a brief four months and then gave 
way to Sir J. W. Downer, The Downer Ministry was 
short-lived, retiring in June 1893 in favour of the C. C. 
Kingston Ministry. 

Charles Cameron Kingston was an "advanced 
Liberal" with a wide programme of reforms, nearly all 
of which he succeeded in putting into effect. The prin- 
cipal Act that he passed in this Parliament dealt with 
women's suffrage. Other measures concerned factory 
legislation 5 a "progressive" tax on land, income, and in- 
herited wealth $ industrial conciliation 5 a protective tariff 5 
payment of members $ and the establishment of a State 
Bank. An excellent parliamentary draughtsman, Kings- 
ton constructed most of his own legislation, being par- 
ticularly careful that the intention was clear and carried 
into effect. On December 1, 1899, after having been 
premier since 1893, he was defeated and succeeded in 
office by V. L. Solomon, who retained the premiership 
exactly seven days before handing it on to F. W. Holder, 
who had led a short-time ministry in 1892. In May 
1901 Holder resigned, to represent a South Australian 
constituency in the Federal Parliament, where he became 
Speaker of the House of Representatives. J* G. Jenkins, 
who had been Chief Secretary and Minister for Health 
under Holder, formed a ministry which retained office 
until 1905, when Richard Butler took the premiership for 


four months to make way for Thomas Price, who led 
the first definite (long-lived) Labour Ministry in any 
Australian State. His Cabinet was a coalition of Liberal 
and Labour men. During his four years in office he was 
responsible for measures relating to Wages Boards, the 
municipalisation of the South Australian Tramways 
(which up to then had been under the control of private 
companies), and the transference of the Northern Terri- 
tory to the Federal Government which was finalised in 
1910. Price died in 1 909, while Premier of his State. 

The very successful ministry of Price, brought to a 
close by his death, was followed by a reorganisation of the 
Cabinet under A. H, Peake, who had filled the offices of 
Treasurer and Attorney-General under Price. Peake 
carried on the Government for one month, then again 
re-formed the Cabinet and governed for one year. He 
was defeated by John Verran in 1910, but two years later 
succeeded in regaining the premiership. In April 1915 
Crawford Vaughan, who had been Treasurer and Com- 
missioner for Crown Lands in the Verran Ministry, took 
over the Government for two years} but again, in July 
1917, Peake succeeded in gaining a majority and held the 
Government until 1920. 

The general elections occurred in April 1920, and 
Peake was again returned to office, but resigned the pre- 
miership to Sir H. N. Barwell. In 1924 Barwell was 
defeated, and John Gunn formed a purely Labour Mini- 
stry. During August 1926 Gunn accepted a seat on the 
Federal Development and Migration Commission, resign- 
ing the premiership, which was taken over by L. L, Hill. 
The Hill Ministry continued in office until April 1927, 
when the general elections resulted in the return of the 
Liberals to office, under the premiership of R. L. Butler. 



ALMOST immediately that the John Douglas Ministry met 
Parliament after the Christmas recess of 1878 Thomas 
Mcllwraith led a sensational attack which resulted 
in the defeat of the 'Government. Mcllwraith then 
formed a Government, and continued to hold office until 
the end of 1883. The outstanding event of this Parlia- 
ment was the annexation of New Guinea by the Queens- 
land Government, against the opinions and wishes of the 
British Government. Queensland, with the support of 
the whole of Australia, succeeded in keeping a precarious 
hold on the southern coast facing Australia, but, through 
the very ingenious attitude of the Imperial Government, 
the north coast of the island fell into the hands of the 
German Empire. 

Soon after the upstir caused by the Papuan affair 
died down Mcllwraith ratified, over the head of Parlia- 
ment, a contract for a direct mail service between London 
and Brisbane via Torres Straits. In 1883 he attempted 
to force through Parliament a bill for a railway from 
Charleville to the Gulf of Carpentaria on the land-grant 
principle. Samuel Griffith, who led the opposition, bitterly 
opposed this project, and succeeded in persuading Parlia- 
ment to reject it. Mcllwraith, impatient of defeat, re- 
signed, and Griffith undertook to form a ministry. 

In office, Griffith was responsible for the Payment 
of Members Act. During his term of office he passed 
many measures through Parliament the Crown Lands 
Act, throwing great areas of the colony open to settle- 
ment 5 the Trades Union System Bills } and an Act em- 
bodying the principle of Employers' Liability. One of his 
greatest measures was a Local Government scheme. 

At the general elections of 1888 McIiWraith boldly 


challenged Griffith in his own electorate, defeating him 
there and in the total polls; he then formed the second 
Mcllwraith Ministry. Almost immediately after he took 
office again he quarrelled with the Governor, Sir Anthony 
Musgrave, over the privilege of pardons. Mcllwraith 
claimed that the privilege was really exercised by the 
ministry, the Governor merely acting on the advice of his 
responsible ministers. A man named Benjamin Kitt had 
been sentenced to three years' imprisonment for the theft 
of two pairs of boots. Mcllwraith and his ministers con- 
sidered the sentence vindictive, and wished the man to* 
be pardoned. The Governor refused to accept the advice, 
and when the Cabinet, led by Mcllwraith, pressed the 
matter, declared that the pardon privilege rested with 
him alone. Mcllwraith forcibly dissented, and the 
Governor then offered to submit the matter to the Colo- 
nial Office. Again Mcllwraith dissented, and, because the 
Governor would not give way, offered his resignation* 
This was accepted, and Boyd Morehead was commissioned 
to form a ministry. 

Although Mcllwraith had not accepted the Gover- 
nor's offer to submit the question of the pardons privilege 
to the Colonial Office, Sir Anthony Musgrave did so on 
his own account. The answer received is worthy of 
record for its ambiguity* The Governor was informed 
that he was bound to obtain the advice of his ministers, 
before taking action ; that, having obtained such advice,, 
he might follow it or not as he pleased 5 that in the case 
under review the Governor was within his rights, but 
"would have exercised a sounder judgment if he had 
subordinated his personal opinion to the advice of his 
ministers" a decision almost equal to the famous "Yes- 
No" of Sir George Reid of a later era. 

For some time Mcllwraith lent his support to his. 
former colleagues, now the Morehead Ministry, acting 
as a member of the cabinet without portfolio, Morehead 


retained office mainly because the remaining members of 
the Cabinet were too jealous and distrustful of each other 
to permit of their combining against their leader. The 
Premier succeeded in keeping his difficult team together 
until 1889, when Sir Thomas Mcllwraith he had been 
knighted in 1882 quarrelled with him over the amount 
of money which should be spent on the Brisbane railway 
station, and unexpectedly came to a political agreement 
with his old enemy Sir Samuel Griffith. A year later 
the Morehead Ministry fell. Morehead's short term 
of office was responsible for the first Queensland Payment 
of Members Act, a very advanced mining regulations 
Act, and a "record" sitting of the Assembly, which met 
at 3 p.m. on Monday, October 28, and sat until 4.15 p.m. 
on Friday, November 1 97^ hours in all. 

The Griffith-Mcllwraith Ministry, which took office 
in August 1890, accomplished little work of note. Sir 
Samuel Griffith and Sir Thomas Mcllwraith shared the 
office of Premier. For two and a half years the old 
antagonists succeeded in holding their coalition ministry 
together, then Griffith resigned, to take the office of Chief 
Justice of the Colony. 

Mcllwraith continued the ministry alone, also holding 
the portfolio of Secretary for Railways and Chief Secre- 
tary. He brought into his cabinet Hugh M. Nelson as 
Treasurer and Vice-President of the Executive Council. 
Nelson had been Secretary for Railways in Mcllwraith's 
1888 Ministry, and, after his leader's coalition with Sir 
Samuel Griffith, had led the opposition. During this 
ministry there was a financial panic in the colony and 
Nelson was responsible for the measures that helped to 
stem the crisis chief of which were the Queensland 
National Bank Agreement Act and the Public Depositors' 
Relief Act. 

In 1893 Mcllwraith resigned the premiership to 
Nelson and took the portfolio of Chief Secretary. Later, 


in 1895, he resigned office and Parliament through ill- 
health, and went to England, where he resided until his 

During this period there was grave industrial unrest 
throughout Queensland, and in 1894 there occurred a 
shearer's strike, which almost became an insurrection, 
necessitating the passing of a drastic Act for the better 
preservation of peace. Nelson was opposed to the 
separation movement which agitated for Central and 
Northern Queensland to be created separate states,, 
chiefly because he feared that dismemberment would lead 
to another financial crisis. In 1897 he represented the 
colony at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and at the 
Imperial Conference in London, He was knighted in 
1896, and, when his ministry went out of office, in 1898, 
became President of the Legislative Council. 

The Byrnes Ministry, which held office for only five 
months during 1898, was merged in the James Robert 
Dickson Ministry when Byrnes died, in office, in September 
1898. Dickson held the premiership for fourteen months, 
when he was defeated by Andrew Dawson, the first Labour 
Premier for any state in Australia. Dawson, however, 
only held power for seven days. His ministry was 
notable for including among its members Andrew Fisher, 
later to become Prime Minister of the Commonwealth,, 
and William Kidston, who later was to become a Labour 
Premier of Queensland. 

On the defeat of Dawson, Robert Philp a clear- 
thinking Conservative took the premiership and held 
office for four years, when he was defeated 
on certain financial proposals. In September 1903 
Arthur Morgan accepted the leadership of a coalition of 
labour members and seceders from Philp's party, and 
carried on the Government through two of the most 
critical years of the State's history. In January 1906 
William Kidston, having established his reputation as 


Treasurer and party leader, took the premiership from 
Morgan and formed the second Labour Ministry in 
Queensland. Kidston's ministry lasted twenty-two 
months. He led his party to victory during the 1907 
general elections, but quarrelled with it the following 
November and resigned office. During February 1908, 
he returned to office as Premier, Chief Secretary, and 
Vice-President of the Executive Council, and in 1909 
formed a coalition with the remnants of the Philp party, 
securing to himself the leadership of Parliament. 

On February 18, 1908, Kidston formed a coalition 
ministry with A. H. Barlow, which held office until Feb- 
ruary 1911, when Kidston decided to retire from politics. 
During this Parliament the University Act of 1909 was 
passed 5 also the Mining on Private Lands Act of the 
same year, and the Constitutional Reforms Act, which 
severely limited the powers of the Legislative Council and 
prepared the way for its abolition in 1922. Kidston's 
great work for his State was the great railway scheme 
whereby the State was to be gridironed by two parallel 
lines of railway running north-south in the west from 
Camooweal to Thargomindah, and in the east from 
Cairns to Brisbane with four cross-bars east-west, 
through Cunnamulla, Roma, Longreach, and Hughenden. 

In 1911, D. F. Denham, who had held the office of 
Secretary for Public Lands in the Kidston Ministry, took 
over the Premiership with the additional offices of Chief 
Secretary and Vice-President of the Executive Council. 
Denham held the reins of Government until 1915 when 
T. J. Ryan took over the office of Premier and formed 
a ministry that lasted until 1919. In this Ryan Cabinet 
appears the name of E. G. Theodore as Treasurer and 
Secretary of Public Works. 

In 1919, T. J. Ryan resigned the Premiership of 
Queensland to enter the Federal Parliament, handing the 
control of the Government to Theodore. During the 


Theodore Ministry the Legislative Council was abolished 
and has not since been restored. In 1925 Theodore re- 
signed from the premiership and the State Parliament to 
contest a seat in the Federal Parliament, handing the 
premiership of the Labour Ministry, which had held office 
since 1915, to W. N. Gillies, who had served under Ryan 
and Theodore as Secretary for Agriculture and Stock. 
Gillies held the premiership for only eight months and 
then resigned, on accepting an appointment to the Queens- 
land Industrial Arbitration Court. William McCormack 
took the premiership of a reconstructed Labour Ministry. 


WESTERN AUSTRALIA, for reason of its acceptance of 
convicts and the consequent large sums of money ex- 
pended in the colony by the Imperial Government, was 
debarred from taking advantage of the self-government 
Act of 1850. Twenty years later it demanded and 
received representative government. In the year 1 878 the 
"Cinderella" colony derided that she was entitled to 
Responsible Government, and, through Sir Stephen H. 
Parker in the Legislative Council, voiced her desires. His 
motion brought the matter within the sphere of practical 
politics, and in 1882 the Council asked the Colonial Office 
on what terms autonomy would be granted. The answer 
partly evaded the question, pointing out that a very large 
proportion of the colony, particularly in the north, con- 
sisted of Crown Lands more satisfactorily administered by 
a colony directly under the Crown. The Office, however, 
added a request to be served with a full statement of the 
colony's affairs. 

This answer was as favourable as the Council 
expected. It prepared exhaustive tables and financial 
returns and forwarded them to England. In 1884, the 


Governor, Sir Frederick Napier-Broome, was informed 
by the Imperial authorities that Western Australia would 
not be refused responsible government if, at the succeed- 
ing elections for the Legislative Council, a general wish 
to that end was expressed by the electors. 

Up to this period, while there was a distinct feeling 
in favour of self-government, the matter had not been 
definitely referred to the electors as a matter of practical 
politics. Now, with Lord Derby's despatch made public, 
there grew a general desire for responsible government. 
In 1888 public opinion had become so strong that in 1 890 
an enabling Act was passed, and on October 21 of that 
year responsible government for Western Australia was 

John Forrest was offered the first premiership and 
on December 29, 1890, formed his first ministry. He 
held office for eleven years, resigning to contest a seat in 
the newly-created Federal Parliament. During his term 
of office notable gold discoveries were made in the 
colony and a great expansion of trade took place. To his 
strong purpose and wide outlook during this period are 
due the goldfields' water scheme, the Fremantle Har- 
bour works, the development of the railway system to 
the mining areas, and the liberal land legislation of the 
colony. He was a great and consistent advocate of Fed- 
eration and the East- West transcontinental railway the 
latter even before Federation. 

On his election to the Federal Parliament Forrest 
was appointed Minister for Home Affairs in the Barton 
Cabinet. On leaving the Western Australian Parliament 
he handed over the premiership to George Throssell, 
who had served under him as Commissioner for Crown 
Lands. Throssell held office for only four months, when 
he was deposed by George Leake, who in November 1901 
gave way to A, E. Morgans. 

Morgans held office for a bare month, when Leake 


succeeded in defeating him. Leake in his turn held the 
premiership for six months and then gave place to W. H. 
James. In 1904, James was defeated by Henry Daglish, 
who headed Western Australia's first Labour Ministry. 
A year later Daglish, finding that he could not retain the 
confidence of the party "bosses," resigned, his place being 
taken by C. H. Rason. After the general elections in 
1906 N. J. Moore accepted the office of Premier and 
held together an uncertain party until 1910. He was 
knighted in 1908. 

Sir Newton Moore resigned from Parliament and 
office in 1910 and took over the agent-generalship of the 
colony in London. He handed the premiership to Frank 
Wilson, who managed to carry on until 1911, when a 
Labour Government, headed by John Scaddan, deposed 
him. At the 1916 elections the New Nationalist party 
was returned to power under Wilson's leadership. This 
Government had lasted eleven months when H. B. 
Lef roy, the leader of the old "die-hard" conservatives of 
the state, assumed the premiership and carried on until 
1919. Lef roy resigned from politics and retired into 
private life in 1919. He had been a member of the For- 
rest and Throssell ministries of 1898 and 1901, but had 
not held office from those dates until offered the 
premiership in 1917. 

When Sir H. B. Lefroy resigned the premiership it 
was offered to H. P. CoJebatch, who formed a cabinet and 
undertook the Government for one month. The cabinet 
was then reconstructed under the premiership of Sir 
James Mitchell, with Colebatch as Minister for Health* 
This ministry lasted until 1924, when, at the elections, 
Philip Collier, at the head of the Labour Party, suc- 
ceeded to the Government. At the general elections of 
1927 Collier was again returned to power with a good 




TASMANIA had responsible Government in 1856. In 
December 1878, W. L. Crowther held the office of Pre- 
mier. His previous experience of ministerial rank had 
been in the Reibey ministry of 1876-77, when he had 
been minister without portfolio. 

Late in the year 1879 the Crowther Ministry was 
defeated and William Robert Giblin formed a coalition 
ministry, which lasted, mainly by absorbing successive 
leaders of the opposition, until 1884. In that year John 
Adye Dougles, a Hobart lawyer, formed a ministry, and 
held the premiership until he resigned to become the 
first Agent-General for the colony, Philip O. Fysh was 
then commissioned to form a ministry and selected as his 
Minister for Lands and Works E. N. C. Braddon, who 
in later years took a great part in the foundation of Fed- 
eration. This was the second Fysh Ministry and lasted 
until August 1 892. 

Federation was the great political question in the 
island colony during the year 1889, and Fysh, though 
he favoured Federation, allowed his Attorney-General, 
A. L Clark, to take the lead in the work for this cause, 
while he interested himself in the more modest measure 
of tariff reciprocity with New South Wales. Another 
champion of Federation in the Fysh Ministry was Edward 
N. C. Braddon, later to be responsible for the much- 
debated "Braddon Clause" under which the Federal 
Government was required to pay the States three-quarters 
of the net revenue collected from Customs and Excise. 

Henry Dobson replaced the Fysh Ministry on 
August 17, 1892, and became Premier, with Adye Doug- 
las and N. E. Lewis as colleagues. He held office until 
April 14, 1894, when he was ousted by Braddon, who, 
taking the premiership, succeeded in retaining office until 


1899. In that year he resigned and handed the position 
to Neil E. Lewis. During his term as Premier of Tas- 
mania, Lewis was elected to the Federal Parliament and 
held office in the Federal Ministry while still acting as 
Premier of his State. After holding the dual position 
for four months he resigned his Federal office and re- 
mained Premier of Tasmania until April 1903, when W. 
B. Propsting took over the reins. John W. Evans suc- 
ceeded Propsting in a re-organised ministry in 1904, and 
carried on the government until 1909. 

Between 1 909 and 1916 Tasmania had a succession of 
five placid governments, of which the longest lived re- 
tained office for two and a half years. In June, 1909, Sir 
N. E. Lewis succeeded in defeating Evans, but the ex- 
Federal Minister had enjoyed office for only four months 
when he was deposed by John Earle, who led an entirely 
new team of Ministers. 

Earle was Premier only for seven days and then fell 
before that astute politician, Sir N. E. Lewis, who again 
assumed office as Premier to hold it until June 1912. 
On that date Lewis retired from politics, leaving to A. E. 
Solomon, who had held the offices of Attorney-General 
and Mines and Education under him, the task of re-form- 
ing the cabinet and carrying on the Government. Solo- 
mon's term of office lasted until April 1914, when Earle 
again succeeded in capturing the Government to hold 
power for two years and a week. In 1916, Sir W. H. 
Lee won the general elections and continued in the pre- 
miership until 1922. 

At that date J. B. Hayes, who had held the office of 
Minister for Lands in the Lee Cabinet, assumed the pre- 
miership,' with Lee as Treasurer and Minister for Agri- 
culture. After one year another reshuffle of portfolios 
brought Lee to the head of a Government with a small 
ministry of five two members of which held three 
offices each, and two of them two offices each, the remain- 


ing member of the cabinet being without office. In 1923 
Joseph A. Lyons formed a Labour ministry which lasted 
until the elections of 1928, when it was defeated. 


A DESIRE for Federation arose among Australians soon 
after Victoria was separated from the mother colony, 
New South Wales. The establishment of a new colony 
further westwards (South Australia) accentuated the de- 
sire for some central body to co-ordinate the work of the 
group. In 1846, Sir Charles Fitzroy, then Governor- 
General of New South Wales, complained to the Colonial 
Office of "the time that must elapse before the decision 
of Her Majesty's Government upon measures passed by 
the legislatures of these colonies can be obtained," and 
he suggested the establishment of "some superior func- 
tionary to whom all measures adopted by the local legis 
latures, affecting the general interests of the mother 
country, the Australian colonies, or their intercolonial 
trade, should be submitted by the officers administering the 
several Governments, before their own assent is given to 

Replying to Governor Fitzroy, Earl Grey stated: 
"Some measure will also be devised for enabling the 
several Australian colonies to co-operate with each other 
in the enactment of such laws as may be necessary for re- 
gulating the interests common to those possessions collec- 
tively." Later in the same despatch he refers to "that 
part of the contemplated Act of Parliament which will 
relate to the creation of a Central Legislative Authority 
for the whole of the Australian colonies," The time for 
such "Central Legislative Authority" was not ripe. Only 
a few of the leading men in the several colonies favoured 
the idea of a central authority. The general body of pub- 


lie opinion had not considered it. But the idea was firmly 
fixed in the minds of the Imperial authorities, for in the 
bill that was passed separating Victoria from the mother 
colony, provision was made for a general assembly on 
the lines laid down in the Committee of the Privy Coun- 
cil's report, which stated: "we commend that the General 
Assembly should consist of the Governor-General and of 
a single House, to be called the House of Delegates. The 
House of Delegates should be composed of not less than 
twenty nor more than thirty members. They should be 
elected by the Legislatures of the different Australian 

The first mention of a Federal Parliament is made in 
a memorandum attached to a draft bill submitted to an 
intercolonial conference in January 1881. In it the fol- 
lowing positions were assumed as not open to debate: 
"(1) that the time is not come for the construction of a 
Federal Constitution, with an Australian Federal Parlia- 
ment; (2) that the time is come when a number of mat- 
ters of much concern to all the colonies might be dealt 
with more effectually by some Federal authority than by 
the colonies separately; (3) that an organization which 
would lead men to think in the direction of Federation 
and accustom the public mind to Federal ideals, would be 
the best preparation for the foundation of Federal Go 

The sensational annexation of southern New Guinea 
by the Mcllwraith Government of Queensland in 1883, 
and the Imperial Government's repudiation of it 
followed by the occupation of the northern half of the 
island by the German Empire brought Federation closer. 
Not only every colony of Australia, but New Zealand 
and Fiji upheld the Queensland Government's action. 
An intercolonial conference, which met in Sydney on 
November 28, 1883, decided that a Federal Australasian 
Council should be created, and a bill drafted by Premier 


Griffith of Queensland was adopted. The bill was not a 
good one; the legislative powers created were very scanty - y 
there was no executive power provided, and no control 
over revenue or expenditure. The proposed Council 
could only legislate by, and for, such separate colonies as 
desired it to do so in each particular case. 

The political leaders in New South Wales stood 
aloof from the bill. Sir Henry Parkes referred to the 
proposed Council as a "ricketty body." Sir John Robert- 
son and others frankly expressed suspicion of the aims 
of the colonies favouring the Council. On every side the 
bill was declared to be premature, ill-conceived, and in- 

The Griffith Bill was adopted by several of the colo- 
nies, but New South Wales and New Zealand stood aside 
from all participation in it. The last meeting, in 1899, 
was an expiring effort, for already the Commonwealth 
Bill of 1 891 was in general discussion. Sir Henry Parkes's 
famous Tenterfield speech of October 24, 1889, was the 
Council's requiem. After that the road lay open for the 
New South Wales statesman to carry forward the agita- 
tion for real Federation. 

The chief political question between the years 1889 
and 1898 was the form Federation should take. While 
a majority of the people of the various colonies were in 
favour of Federation as an abstract ideal, they were 
jealous of their independent privileges. Federation, when 
it came within the realm of practical politics, had to be 
careful not to infringe in any way the liberty of action en- 
joyed by the various colonies in purely domestic affairs. 

In reality Federation was not a party question,, 
but the temper of the times was such that no question 
of continent-wide importance could be debated without 
the party aspect coming strongly to the fore. But 
for this, Federation would have been an accomplished 
fact long before 1900, and it ^as only when the people 


took the question out o the hands of the various conflict- 
ing politicians, that finality came within view. 

In 1889 Parkes, labouring under great difficulties, 
re-opened the question of Federation, to receive very 
evasive replies from the leaders in other colonies; some 
of them openly objected to his leadership on the ques- 
tion, in view of his previous action regarding the Federal 
Council. But the New South Wales statesman persisted, 
and in 1890 he succeeded in calling another Intercolonial 
Conference to consider ways and means of preparing a 
Federal Constitution. That Conference prepared the way 
for the holding of the first Australasian Federal Conven- 
tion of 1891. The members were chosen from the Par- 
liaments of the colonies and represented the best political 
intelligence of the continent. 

The Convention of 1891 adopted the first draft con- 
stitution a document which, while not accepted by the 
colonies, was the basis on which later Conventions worked. 
The details of the constitution, while debated in Conven- 
tion, were the work of a Committee consisting of Samuel 
Griffith, afterwards Chief Justice of Australia; Edmund 
Barton, afterwards first Prime Minister; Inglis Clark, 
later a Tasmanian judge; and Charles Cameron Kingston, 
who became in after years a distinguished minister of the 

When the draft came before the Parliament of New 
South Wales it met with bitter opposition, although Sir 
Henry Parkes fought hard to have it adopted. G. H. 
Reid, a member of the Convention, led a strong parlia- 
mentary opposition and denounced the constitution as the 
work of "the great ambitious statesman of Australia." He 
claimed that it was not sufficiently democratic, and ob- 
jected to the clauses concerning trade and finance. The 
feeling of opposition penetrated Parkes's cabinet, and the 
great leader at last came to feel that he could do no good 
by persevering with it. The defeat of the constitution in 


New South Wales led to its defeat in other colonies, 
since it was generally considered that any Federation in 
which New South Wales did not take a part must fail. 
Again it appeared that the cause of Federation had been 
defeated. In October 1891 Parkes retired into private 
life, and all hope of Federation appeared to be lost. But 
in the Dibbs ministry that succeeded thei c were two men 
who were later to take a great part in the fight for Feder- 
ation. In ,the 1891 elections Barton stood for East Sydney 
as a Federationist and joined the Dibbs Cabinet as Minis- 
ter for Home Affairs and the acknowledged leader of the 
Federationist Party a position which he assumed at the 
request of Parkes. In the following year Barton suc- 
ceeded in carrying in the Assembly a pro-federation reso- 
lution; yet he found his position untenable, as "certain 
colleagues were always strewing tacks in my path." In 
1893 he resigned office so as to have full liberty to carry 
on, outside the Cabinet, the campaign for the 1891 Feder- 
ation Bill. 

The other man who came forward as a champion of 
Federation, after the retirement of Parkes, was George 
Houston Reid. He had been a bitter opponent of the 
1891 bill when brought into the New South Wales Par- 
liament. But recognizing that Federation must eventu- 
ally come, he set to work to give it as democratic an out- 
look as possible. 

The matter now entered on a new phase. The move- 
ment was taken out of the political arena and submitted 
to the people. Popular leagues were formed to advance 
the common cause, and at a conference of the Leagues, 
held at Corowa, a new plan of campaign was initiated on 
the suggestion that the movement for Federation should 
come from the people; that a constitution should be 
drafted by a Convention elected directly by the people; 
that the Constitution, when drafted, should be submitted 
directly to the people for acceptance or rejection; and 


that, if the Constitution were accepted at the Referen- 
dum by two or more colonies, it should be passed by the 
Imperial Parliament and become law. 

Ten representatives from each colony except Queens- 
land, whose Parliament did not pass the Enabling Bill 
for the election of the delegates, came to the Conven- 
tion 1897-98, which prepared the Constitution of the 
Commonwealth of Australia. The representatives from 
the other colonies, except Western Australia, were elected 
directly by the people. The Western Australian dele- 
gates were chosen by that colony's Parliament, which 
feared that, if a popular vote was taken, the goldfields, 
where the Federation cause was very strong, would swamp 
the voting power of the agriculturist. 

The Convention held three sessions in Adelaide, 
Sydney, and Melbourne. Its task was made easier 
through having the draft bill of the 1 891 constitution as a 
model, and a comparison of the two constitutions show 
some striking similarities and differences. Substantially 
the new Constitution followed that of 1891, but with a 
widening of scope and liberalising of powers. When the 
Constitution came before the British Parliament a cele- 
brate4 English statesman spoke of it as "a monument of 
legislative competency": yet it was not the work of prac- 
tised statesmen but of elected delegates of the people at 

The tide "Commonwealth" was first suggested by 
Sir Henry Parkes at the Constitutional Committee of the 
1891 Convention. The title was at first rejected, but 
later, was again proposed by Alfred Deakin, a Victorian 
delegate, and carried in the Committee by a majority of 
one vote. 

Again in the full Convention exception was taken 
to the tide "Commonwealth" as having too Cromwellian 
a flavour, but Edmund Barton drove the word to adoption 
with his scholarly eloquence. Finally the Convention 


adopted the title by 26 votes to 13. By the time the 
1897-8 Convention was in session the title had caught 
the popular imagination there being only one objector 
in the Convention. "Commonwealth," stated Edmund 
Barton, "is thq grandest and most stately name by which 
a great association o self-governing people can be charac- 
terized. " 

The days from the end of 1 898 to July 1900 are the 
most pregnant and interesting in the history of Australia. 
Into those eighteen months were crowded many political 
happenings, amid a whirl of tense excitement. 

The enabling Acts, under which the delegates to the 
Convention of 1 897-8 met, provided that when the Fed- 
eration Act had been drafted it must be submitted to the 
people, and that, to secure adoption, stated majorities had 
to be obtained in certain states 5 in other states a bare 
majority was sufficient. 

But after the Federation Act had been drafted, and 
almost immediately before the voting, the enemies of 
Federation, introduced into the Parliament of New South 
Wales a bill requiring a minimum total of 120,000 votes 
in that State to secure the adoption of the Federation Bill. 
Considering the population of the colony at the time, this 
number was almost impossible to attain. 

At this stage Reid, the then Premier of New South 
Wales, adopted an ambiguous attitude towards Feder- 
ation. At the Convention, and in the country, he had 
worked for Federation j now, faced with a measure that 
was designed to make Federation almost unattainable, he 
became very indefinite. A clever politician, he under- 
stood that Federation had the favour of the people, and, 
for that reason if for no other, he would not oppose itj 
yet, faced with this demand for a total of 120,000 votes 
in the colony in favour of Federation, he did not object. 
Instead, he suggested that a minimum of 80,000 votes 
in favour of the measure should be required in place of 


the 50,000 declared in the enabling bill. This number, 
while not making Federation impossible, was sufficiently 
high to make the passage of the bill difficult. 

In support of Reid's attitude in regard to the mini- 
mum vote it can be claimed that there was in the colony 
a strong and influential body of opinion that certain 
clauses of the bill were not favourable to New South 
Wales, the oldest and wealthiest of the colonies. Reid 
and many others thought that New South Wales should 
contain the seat of Federal Government, although he did 
not go so far as to claim, with Sir W. J. Ljnc, that it 
should be Sydney. The financial clauses did not meet 
with whole-hearted approval, many authorities contend- 
ing that under them New South Wales would bear a dis- 
proportionate share of the cost of a Federal Administra- 
tion. In one of his public speeches Reid set out in detail 
his objections to the Federation Bill, and then left his 
hearers aghast by stating that he could not "become a 
deserter from the cause" and would record his personal 
vote in favour. His attitude on this occasion has passed 
into history and dictionary use through the famous "Yes- 
No" cartoon of Sydney's Bulletin. 

Reid's ambiguous attitude secured the rejection of 
the draft Federation Bill by the people of New South 
Wales not because the bill failed to secure a distinct 
majority, but because the required number of votes 
80,000 was not attained. The voting, however, must 
have surprised Reid, for it was very far in advance of the 
total voting required by the Enabling Act and only 8405 
votes short of the 80,000 votes fixed by Reid's later 

Though Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania had 
secured the votes necessary to bring tederation into exist- 
ence, they considered it impolitic to move any further in 
the direction of Federation without New South Wales. 
Then arose the question: what alterations would induce 


New South Wales to accept the draft Bill? The Vic- 
torian Premier, Turner, summoned a conference of State 
Premiers to meet in Melbourne. At that gathering the 
colonies originally supporting Federation were joined by 
J- R. Dickson, the Queensland Premier an earnest that 
five of the six colonies would now co-operate. Seven 
amendments to the draft Bill were prepared at this Pre- 
miers' Conference three dealing with the financial prob- 
lems 5 one defining that the Federal Capital should be in 
New South Wales, but not within one hundred miles of 
Sydney, and that, pending the building of the Federal 
Capital, the Parliament should sit in Melbourne} and the 
last defining the powers of the future Federal Parlia- 
ments to deal with State boundaries. 

At the Second Referendum, held on June 20, 1899, 
New South Wales voted 107,420 for, and 82,741 against, 
Federation. The Victorian vote on this occasion was much 
larger than at the first referendum, and the "No" vote 
was greatly reduced. Tasmania was nearly solid in favour, 
only 79 "No" votes being recorded. Queensland voted 
almost 50-50j Western Australia did not vote or take 
any part in the proceedings. 

The draft Federation Bill, having weathered all 
storms in Australia, had now to face the bufferings of the 
Imperial Parliament. Here only one rock threatened dis- 
aster. The draft bill conferred on the High Court of 
Australia exclusive jurisdiction in cases involving the in- 
terpretation of the constitution, and gave powers to the 
Federal Parliament to limit matters of law on which 
appeal might lie to the Privy Council the highest Court 
of Appeal in the Empire. The English law authorities 
objected to this "limiting power" being conferred on the 
Parliament, on the grounds that the Privy Council was 
a bond between the various entities of the Empire and 
that appeal to the Privy Council secured uniformity in 
interpretation of law throughout the Empire on matters 


of Imperial and commercial concern. They were willing 
to agree that the Australian High Court (unless it gave 
leave to appeal to the Privy Council) should be the sole 
interpreter of the Constitution and of the limits of the 
powers of the Commonwealth and the States. 

After much discussion between the Australian dele- 
gates in London and the English law authorities, the 
matter was referred to a conference of Premiers sitting in 
Melbourne, and they decided that, if a choice had to be 
made between the "Appeal Clauses" and postponement, 
"the latter course would be more objectionable to Aus- 
tralians generally than the former." The "appeal clause" 
was therefore amended to suit the English law officers. 

The Australian Federation Bill came before the 
Imperial Parliament in May 1900, under the sponsorship 
of Joseph Chamberlain, and by the following July had 
passed both Houses of the Imperial Parliament. A few 
days after the Act emerged from the House of Lords, 
and before Queen Victoria's assent had been declared to 
it on September 17, 1900, Western Australia, by a refer- 
endum majority vote of 44,800 to 19,691, joined her 
sister States in making Federation a complete entity on 
the Australian continent. 


EDMUND BARTON was the first Prime Minister of Aus- 
tralia. He had been Minister for Home Affairs in the 
Dibbs Ministry of New South Wales and had resigned 
that office to devote himself entirely to the cause of Feder- 
ation. The Ministry which he formed comprised no less 
than five ex-premiers of States: Sir John Forrest held the 
office of Minister for Home Affairs, and had been a 
former Premier of Western Australia 5 Sir George Tur- 
ner, the Treasurer, had been a Premier of Victoria 5 Sir 


P. O. Fysh, who accepted the office of Postmaster- 
General, was ex-Premier of Tasmania 5 C. C. Kingston, 
who held the portfolio of Trade and Customs, had been 
a Premier of South Australia. The fifth was Sir W. J. 
Lyne, a former Premier of New South Wales, who took 
the office of Trade and Customs when Kingston resigned 
through disagreement with his leader regarding the some- 
what drastic Arbitration Bill which he brought forward, 
extending Federal control over the railways of the States. 

There were three parties in the first Federal Parlia- 
ment. The Government, strongly protectionist, led by 
the Prime Minister 5 a strong free-trade opposition led by 
Reid 5 and the Labour Party under the leadership of John 
Christian Watson, a fine speaker and a sound tactician. 

From the first-days of the new Parliament Labour 
assumed a prominent position. At first, unable to take 
the reins of Government, it supported the legislation that 
fitted in with the party's declared platform in other 
matters giving a benevolent neutrality, except where it 
saw Labour principles involved. It was the Labour Party 
that held Barton in office during his term as Prime Min- 
ister and passed through the Houses his policy of pre- 
venting the coloured races of Asia from coming into Aus- 
tralia, and of clearing the kanakas out of the Queensland 
cane-fields. The first measure caused some discussion 
with the Imperial authorities, the rulers and protectors of 
many coloured races. The crux was solved by the "lan- 
guage test" device, whereby the Inspectors were able to 
"test" immigrants in a language with which they were 
not familiar. 

The first breach in the Federal Parliament happened 
when Cabinet declined to allow Kingston to bring in an 
Arbitration Bill which would have extended Federal con- 
trol over the railways of the States, Kingston resigned, 
and Sir W. J. Lyne took over the portfolio of Trade and 


Customs. Two months later Barton himself resigned in 
answer to a call to the High Court bench. 

On September 4, 1903, Alfred Deakin, who had led 
his party to victory at the elections, accepted the office of 
Prime Minister and formed his cabinet from among his 
former colleagues in the Barton Ministry, substituting for 
Sir J. R. Dickson and Neil E. Lewis, Austin Chapman 
and Senator Thomas Playford. To this Parliament 
Labour was returned with a large access of power, having 
twenty-four members in a House of Representatives 
of seventy-five, and fifteen Senators out of thirty-six. 
Deakin, who led the strongest single party in the House 
of Representatives, could only number twenty-seven 
supporters, while the official opposition numbered twenty- 
four the^same number as that of the Labourites. 

Deakm's first ministry came to grief over the same 
Arbitration and Conciliation Bill which had marked the 
decline of the Barton Ministry. Deakin refused to accept 
the clause giving State civil servants access to the Federal 
Arbitration Courts. Labour-leader Watson and his fol- 
lowers insisted on the inclusion of the clause, and, backed 
by a section of the opposition, carried their point against 
the Government. Deakin answered with his resignation. 

Watson formed the first Labour Ministry in April 
1904, and by the following August was back again on the 
cross-benches. His programme of legislation included 
the much debated Arbitration Bill, a measure to establish 
a tobacco monopoly to provide funds for Old Age Pen- 
sions, and one to bring State employees within the scope 
of the. Federal Arbitration Act. The last proposal again 
wrecked a ministry. Deakin supported Reid in a suc- 
cessful attack on the Government, and in August Reid 
headed a coalition of his own followers and the old 
Deakin-Barton party. Deakin himself stood out of the 
coalition, and, while not assisting, did not actively oppose 
the Reid Government. Eleven months later Deakin with- 


drew his passive support from Reid and defeated the 
Government, resuming the Prime Ministership with a 
small personal following, but with heavy backing from 
the Labour benches. 

During the life of this Ministry Deakin succeeded 
in passing a strong protectionist tariff, providing prefer- 
ence for Great Britain. Among his other works, he 
slightly relaxed the restrictions on alien immigiation and 
established old age pensions. In addition he passed a 
series of commercial bills affecting copyrights, trade- 
marks, trusts, and secret commissions. He formulated 
military defence measures and negotiated with the British 
Admiralty on a local defence scheme. During 1907 he 
took part in the Imperial conference in London, after- 
wards touring Great Britain on the question of mutual 
fiscal preference. 

With Deakin in power, entirely dependent on 
Labour's support, and Reid leading a disorganised opposi- 
tion, Andrew Fisher, who had succeeded Watson as 
Labour Leader, thought the time had come when his 
party should carry on the work of the country. On the 
floor of the House he formally intimated to the Govern- 
ment that Labour could no longer give it support. Deakin 
thereupon resigned, and Fisher took the office of Prime 
Minister, only to find that he had to rely on Deakin and 
his followers for the votes necessary to avoid defeat at 
the hands of the Reid opposition. Labour's second at- 
tempt at Government lasted seven months. 

In forming a Ministry it is possible that Fisher 
thought the line of cleavage between the Reid and Deakin 
parties was far wider than between either of those parties 
and his own. Under that opinion he had accepted office, 
determined to play his opponents one against the other; 
but in this he reckoned without the one-time Labour 
politician, Joseph Cook. Quite unexpectedly negotiations 
were entered upon between Deakin and Cook, and after 


some hesitation Deakin decided to throw in his lot with 
his former enemies, whose freetrade fiscal policy had 
dwindled almost to an unattainable ideal. 

The "fusion" was the end of the Fisher Parliament, 
On June 2, 1909, Deakin found himself again in office 
as Prime Minister, with Cook holding the portfolio of 
Defence and Forrest as Treasurer. But in spite of the 
number of free-traders in his new party and cabinet 
Deakin succeeded in dominating the situation, and before 
the general elections of 1910 he passed a measure cer- 
tainly in somewhat imperfect form for compulsory mili- 
tary defence. In addition he concluded arrangements 
with the British Admiralty for the creation of an Aus- 
tralian squadron. He also established the office of High 
Commissioner to England. 

The general elections of 1910 returned to power 
Fisher and a Labour Government, with a good working 
majority. During the three years of this Government 
Fisher was responsible for the transference of the North- 
ern Territory from South Australia to the Federal Go- 
vernment. He also passed through Parliament the 
measure establishing the Commonwealth Bank. Other im- 
portant measures brought forward by him were permis- 
sion for the Federal Treasury to issue its own bank-notes,, 
superseding those issued by the private banks $ the imposi- 
tion of a Federal Land Tax 5 the construction of the East- 
West Transcontinental Rail way 5 and the creation of the. 
Interstate Commission. He finalised the work which 
Deakin had begun for the establishment of an Australian 
naval squadron and the development of the military train- 
ing system. At the elections held during June 1 9 1 3 he was- 
defeated at the polls by a small majority. 

Immediately prior to the 1913 elections Deakin de- 
cided to retire from politics, leaving the leadership of the 
"fusion" in the hands of Cook. Winning the govern- 
ment by a very small majority, Cook formed a ministry, 


but retained office for only fifteen months, when he de- 
cided to appeal to the electors. But the political pendu- 
lum swung to Fisher, who assumed office just after the 
commencement of the Great War. Fisher entered whole- 
heartedly into the work of organizing Australia on a 
war footing, dispatching the first contingent of Australian 
soldiers which had been promised by Cook and 
maintaining the Australian effort up to October 1915, 
when he resigned office and his seat in the Federal Par- 
liament to take the post of High Commissioner in Lon- 

William Morris Hughes became leader of the Fed- 
eral Labour Party when Fisher resigned. For many years 
he had been the power behind Fisher in the Labour cabi- 
nets, holding the office of Attorney-General in Fisher's 
second and third ministries. 

Thirteen months after he took over the Prime Minis- 
tership Hughes had to face a crisis within his party. 
Fisher had promised the British Government Australia's 
last man and last shilling. Man-power was urgently 
needed and Hughes proposed conscription. A section of 
the Labour Party followed his lead, but the great major- 
ity of the party outside parliament opposed conscription. 
In consequence there resulted a split in the party, and the 
malcontents, gaining control of the "machine, 7 '* expelled 
the "conscriptionists." 

An arrangement with the Liberal opposition in 1917 
resulted in the formation of the first Nationalist Govern- 
ment under the Prime Ministership of Hughes, with Cook 
as Minister for the Navy and Forrest as Treasurer. In 
January 1918 Hughes led back to office a second War Min- 
istry, which lasted nearly four years and experienced 
several reshuffles of offices. In its four years of life it con- 
tained four treasurers; four ministers for Trade and Cus- 
toms 5 three members in turn held the offices of Vice- 
President of the Executive Council, Minister for Works, 


and Home and Territories. There were three Postmasters- 
General and nine honorary ministers. 

During the first few months of this Parliament's life 
the Prime Minister was away from Australia, in England 
and France. He attended meetings of the Imperial Cabi- 
net and took a prominent part in the meetings of the "Big 
Four" and in the conferences at Versailles which resulted 
in the Versailles Treaty and the birth of the League of 

The new Parliament met under the final stress of 
the Great War. During the 1918 elections the Central 
European Powers were foreshadowing the great offensive 
of the following March. The first days were lived under 
the shadow of the apparently irresistible German attack 
which again and again broke the Allies 5 defence yet never 
succeeded in demoralising them an attack that wore it- 
self out and resulted in the final retreat and the applica- 
tion for the Armistice. 

The task before the new Parliament was appalling 
in magnitude. It had to turn the steps of a people long 
organised for war into the paths of peace* It had to re- 
organise a nation bled nearly white of its manhood and 
financial strength. It had to take the remnants of the 
41 6,809 men who had been sent across the seas and trained 
in the arts of killing, and to blend them into a community 
of peace and work. It had to take those who remained 
of the 226,073 casualties their wives, children, and other 
dependents, and shelter them from want and suffering. 

And there were no precedents to guide them in this 
work. They could not ask for help from overseas, for 
in Europe the nations lay gasping for strength, hardly 
yet able to realise that the long nightmare of blood and 
horrors had passedj that before them lay the mighty task 
of binding up their bleeding wounds as they staggered 
forward on the eternal march of years to their ultimate 


Within a few months of the outbreak of war, and 
right up to the end of the last Hughes Parliament, the 
great and most pressing problem was the repatriation of 
the returned troops. In 1918 a Commonwealth Depart- 
ment of Repatriation was formed under Senator E. D. 
Millen, entering on its formidable task with the provision 
for the 44,671 men who had been by then repatriated. 
By the end of June 1920, when practically the whole of 
the Australian Imperial Force had returned to Australia, 
all but 2037 hospital cases and 6049 men had been re- 
turned to civilian life. 

It was quickly realised that there was no official 
knowledge to indicate what should, or should not, be done 
in the task of absorbing the soldiers into civil occupations. 
At first a wave of emotional impulse swept over the coun- 
try, and the Government appeared willing to stand aside 
and leave the initiative to voluntary effort such as was 
expressed in the New South Wales Australia Day Fund, 
which raised 800,000, and in similar efforts in other 
states. But it had to be recognised that, however great 
the voluntary effort, the problem was one that only a 
Government could tackle. This led to the appointment 
of a Federal War Committee, representative of all parties 
of the Houses of Parliament. This Committee appointed 
"War Councils" in each State, composed of members 
from the State Parliaments and the commercial, industrial, 
and civil interests. The Councils kept registers of all the 
discharged men 5 collected and distributed funds 5 found 
positions for men able to take employment $ registered 
men desirous of settling on the land, and notified the 
various Lands Departments; formed through the States 
local bodies to act as auxiliaries to the Councils j and as- 
sisted men, as they settled on the land, to bring their 
holdings into quick reproduction. These State Councils 
also undertook the task of looking after dependents. 

In May 1917 the Commonwealth Government passed 


the Soldiers' Repatriation Fund Act, providing for a 
Board of Trustees from members of all Parliamentary 
parties, with the Prime Minister ex-officio Chairman. Yet 
this Act did not bring into existence any funds for the 
gigantic work it was to undertake, or for the work the 
Federal War Committee and its subordinate bodies had 
been successfully undertaking. It still left the necessary 
money to be provided by voluntary contributions. 

At the Conference of Premiers and Lands Ministers 
in the following January, the Trustees submitted recom- 
mendations for the control of all activities except quali- 
fications as to land, which directly concerned the various 
State Governments by the Commonwealth. They also 
submitted a plan of the work which should be under- 
taken. These were accepted by the Conference. Later 
the Trustees advised the Prime Minister that the Depart- 
ment should be administered by Commissioners. 

The Australian Soldiers' Repatriation Act provided 
for assistance to the men, nurses, and their dependents. 
It gave as a definition of "Australian Soldier" any Aus- 
tralian who had served in the military and naval forces, 
provided that he or she could prove domicile in Australia. 
Responsibility for administration was vested in the Min- 
ister. He had, to advise him, an honorary Board of seven 
members} in each State an honorary Board of seven was 
created, to deal with the Commonwealth Board of seven 
members j and under the States' Boards was a network 
of .local committees covering the Commonwealth. The 
Executive side of the Department was represented by 
a Comptroller, with a< Deputy-Comptroller in each State. 
Again Parliament did not make adequate provision for 
the necessary funds j in fact the various Boards could 
not estimate their requirements in that direction. It was 
finally decided to formulate a scheme, and leave Parlia- 
ment to meet the financial obligations as they fell due. 

With much discussion and many disagreements a 


scheme of work was at last prepared. Later the Comp- 
troller was displaced by a Commission of three, subject 
to the Minister, with, in each State, a Deputy-Comptroller 
whose business was the superintendence of the offices es- 
tablished, at first in the capital cities, and later extended 
to the more populous centres. These offices were staffed 
throughout by returned soldiers. 

Soon after the war ended, the Department assumed 
responsibility for all medical treatment, and established 
a number of hospitals and institutions. To care for the 
totally and partially injured men and women, hostels 
amid pleasant surroundings and properly equipped were 
established in the various States. Special sanatoria were 
arranged for tuberculous and mental cases. 

The Commonwealth expenditure on Repatriation, 
up to the end of June 1925, amounted to 154,139,106; 
war pensions, 51,100,382; general benefits, 
18,411,785; houses, 22,153,787; land settlement, 
35,001,941; war gratuities, 27,471,211. The pen- 
sioners (soldiers and dependents) totalled 244,597, classi- 
fied as follows: soldiers 72,128; wives, 50,106; children, 
84,317; widows, 6453; widowed mothers, 8943; other 
mothers, 17,463; fathers, 3308; sisters and brothers, 
872; others, 1187. 

At the above mentioned date 25,721 men had com- 
pleted courses of training and there were still 1387 men 
in training. The total cost of training amounted to 
4,827,552. Employment applications numbered 
246,734, the incidental cost, including sustenance pay- 
ments and advances to States and municipalities being 
3,406,372. For medical treatment 2,928,688 had been 
paid. The Commonwealth had settled 34,995 men on 
the land at a cost of 35,001,941. 

In 1 922 the General Elections for the Commonwealth 
Parliament were held and resulted in a win for the Govern- 
ment. Although on the appeal to the country Hughes' 


led the party, the spoils of office were not to be his. The 
war had passed $ the sense of common danger before a 
powerful and aggressive foe had passed, and the old pas - 
sions of politics were in the ascendant, assuming the pro- 
portions they had held in pre-war years. A new party, 
the Country Party, had come into being. The party held 
very strong affiliations with the old Liberal (now Na- 
tional) Party, yet was opposed to it on land policies and 
the question of the needs of the country districts as 
against the requirements of the cities and towns. 

For more than half of his long reign as Prime Min- 
ister of Australia Hughes had had but a very small per- 
sonal following. His strength, in Government, lay in 
the fact that there was not a man ready and able to dis- 
possess him* He had ruled over Ministries composed 
mainly of men who before 1914 were his political oppo- 
nents. Now, when an era of peace dawned and men's 
thoughts turned to home affairs, there were many who 
sought and planned the downfall of a Prime Minister 
who had proved somewhat arbitrary. 

Into the new Parliament of 1923 came new per- 
sonalities, two men especially, who were to have a great 
influence on the future of Parliament and the political 
parties. Stanley Melbourne Bruce had been elected to 
Parliament at a by-election in 1918 and afterwards taken 
into the Ministry. He had fought in the Gallipoli ad- 
venture and had been wounded. Recovering, he had been 
sent to France, where he had again been wounded. His 
election to the Flinders seat in the Federal Parliament was 
his first experience in politics. For three years he was a 
private member$ then he accepted office in Hughes's Cabi 
net as Treasurer. Little more than thirteen months later 
he became Prime Minister of the 1923 Parliament. 

The second man who brought a large influence to 
bear on the first post-war Parliament was Dr Earle 
Christmas Page. He had served through the war as 


operating surgeon in the A.A.M.C., leaving his private 
practice at Grafton (New South Wales) for the purpose. 
In 1919 he was elected for Cowper to the Federal Par- 
liament, and in 1920 was elected leader of the new 
Country Party. 

A strong section of the old Liberals in the new 
Nationalist Party put forward Bruce as candidate for the 
Prime Minister-ship. It was doubtful if even the influ- 
ential and wealthy backing which supported Bruce would 
have been alone sufficient to defeat Hughes j but the 
intervention of Dr. Page at the head of his Country Party 
put the issue beyond doubt. The coalition between the 
Country Party and the old Liberal group backing Bruce 
was too strong, and the young Australian soldier, with less 
than a year's ministerial experience, became the new Prime 
Minister of the Australian Common wen 1th. 

The Bruce-Page Government of 1923-25 was re- 
organised after the elections in the latter year with re- 
markably few changes in the Cabinet and those only of 
minor importance. The most important work taken in 
hand by this Government was the laying out and building 
of the Federal Capital City at Canberra. 

From 1911, when the Federal Parliament had de- 
cided to call for plans for a Federal Capital, until 1923, 
little progress had been made towards the building of a 
city. On March 12, 1913, building operations had been 
officially initiated by the laying of foundation-stones of 
a "Commencement Column" by the Governor-General, 
Lord Denman, the Prime Minister, Andrew Fisher, and 
the Minister for Home Affairs, King O'Malley. la 
1913-14 a general survey of the site was made, and cer- 
tain areas allotted for early development. Plans were 
also laid for damming the Cotter River in order to pro- 
vide a water-supply, and also for sewerage, electric- 
power supplies, and road construction. But, perhaps 
owing to war-time stringencies, no further steps were 


taken. In 1920 opportunity was taken of the presence 
of the Prince of Wales in Australia to lay the foundation- 
stone of the Capitol. Again followed delays while an 
advisory- committee of five engineering and architectural 
experts reviewed what had been done and reported on 
what should be the further progress in Australia's Capi- 

The Bruce-Page Ministry of 1923-25 made the first 
progressive step towards a permanent home for the 
Federal Parliament. The dual control by the department 
of Home and Territories and that of Works was super- 
seded in 1925 by a Commission of three members elected 
for a term of five years and nominally under the control 
of the Minister for Home and Territories, but really with 
very wide powers emanating direct from Parliament. 

This Commission was the outcome of an agitation 
among members of Parliament to force on the building 
of the Federal Capital. In 1922 it was decided by the 
House of Representatives that the following Parliament 
should sit at Canberra. During August 1923 the first 
sod of the site of a provisional Parliament House was 
turned and the building commenced in the following 
January. The building was completed in May 1927 and 
opened with great ceremony by the Duke of York on the 
9th of that month. Since then the offices of Parliament 
and the various administrative Departments of Govern- 
ment have been transferred to Canberra, mainly during 
the year 1928. Land within the Federal Capital is only 
leasehold, and on December 12, 1924, the first auction 
sale of city leaseholds was held, when 200 out of the 400 
blocks offered for sale were disposed of. A second sale 
was held on May 29, 1926. Prices ranged, for business 
sites, from 6 to 150 per foot 5 for residential areas, 
from 1 Os. to 6 1 6s. per foot. 

The last Federal Elections were held in November 
1928, when the Bruce-Page Government was returned to 
office, though with a smaller majority. 



ON the outbreak of the great war of 1914 a war which 
involved nearly every country in the world the 
Australian Government cabled to London an offer to place 
the Australian navy under the orders of the Admiralty, 
and to send "an expeditionary force of 20,000 men of any 
suggested composition to any destination desired by the 
Home Government." This offer was promptly accepted* 
Volunteers quickly came forward, and within a few days 
the numbers were complete, while many thousands of 
volunteers were waiting for admission to other divisions 
which it was confidently expected would be raised. 

Except a small expeditionary force sent to German 
New Guinea with the definite object of seizing and de- 
stroying the wireless stations established at Rabaul, Yap, 
and Nauru, the first troops left Australia, bound for 
Europe, on November 1, 1914. 

While these were en route, a rebellion broke out in 
South Africa, and General Bridges, in command of the 
A.I.F., was ordered to proceed to the Cape. However, 
before he and his Australian troops could proceed to Cape 
Town, General Botha had gained a complete victory and 
Bridges's orders were then altered again. The Austra- 
lian troops were landed in Egypt, to undergo training 

In Egypt the Australians were met by General Bird- 
wood and his staff, and when further troops arrived from 
Australia and from New Zealand, the collective body 
was formed into "The Australian and New Zealand Army 
Corps" from the initials of which the Headquarters 
clerks evolved the now famous "ANZAC." 

After a brief spell of fighting in repressing a small 
rebellion in Egypt, the Anzacs were sent on the strangely 


conceived, and ill-matured expedition to Gallipoli. The 
landing was made at dawn on April 25, 1915, but through 
many mysterious delays the Turks were able to organise 
a strong opposition. After a few days it was seen that 
the object aimed at was almost impossible of achievement* 
Until August 6 every effort was made to consolidate the 
British positions and put them in order for the attack on 
the Turks' key-positions. 

On August 6 the battle of Sari Bair was commenced 
without that strengthening of the forces which the 
value of the movements and objectives deserved and 
which had been promised. From the first feint at Helles, 
through the battle of Lone Pine and the unexpected at- 
tacks from Ocean Beach and Suvla Bay, to the summit 
of Chanak Bair, the troops struggled gallantly but hope- 
lessly on, and, although the Anzacs held and consolidated 
their ground^ all possible hope of full success slowly 

Yet Sir Ian Hamilton, who was in supreme com- 
mand, would not relinquish the ground so dearly won 
without another attempt to force a way through the enemy 
to the key-positions above the Dardanelles. On August 
21 began the final week's fighting which resulted in the 
capture of Hill 60 and the renewed knowledge that any 
fresh adventure must end only in disaster. Towards 
the end of the month it became necessary to withdraw 
the troops, now sadly depleted and in sore need of rest. 
After an interval of inaction amid the rigours of winter 
the evacuation of Gallipoli commenced. 

The evacuation of the Gallipoli peninsula is certainly 
one of the most brilliant military manoeuvres ever con- 
ceived and accomplished. The scheme of withdrawal 
stands to the credit of Brigadier-General C. B. B. White 
and the execution to General Birdwood. Between De- 
cember 8 and 20, some 80,000 men, 5000 horses, and 
200 guns were withdrawn from Suvla and Anxac and 


without raising among the enemy a suspicion of that in- 
tention. Three weeks later the troops at Helles were 
withdrawn with equal success and immunity. 

The Australian troops were taken back to Egypt 
for rest and reorganisation at the close of the year 1915, 
the only fighting in which they were for some time subse- 
quently engaged being in short desert expeditions against 
the Senussi and other disaffected Bedouin tribes. Through 
the rest of the winter and the following spring prepara- 
tions were made to organise the now greatly increased 
Australian forces for an offensive on the European western 
front. Australia had offered an additional nine brigades. 
Two new divisions were formed from the reinforcements 
undergoing training in Egypt and the seasoned troops 
from Gallipoli. A third division was in preliminary train- 
ing in Australia. A complete reorganisation of the vari- 
ous wings of the service was made from time to time, as 
men became available and permitted expansion. From the 
Anzac Mounted Division and the Camel Battalion was 
evolved the Australian Mounted Division of 1917. The 
Australian Flying Corps came into existence. Behind 
the huge army of Southern Cross men there were formed, 
in Egypt and England, efficient training bases. 

Between March and June 1916, the four infantry 
divisions in Egypt were transported to France, south-east 
of Armentieres known as the "nursery sector." The 
first attack by the Australian troops in France occurred on 
July 19, south of the "nursery sector," towards Fromelles, 
with the object of holding on that front certain German 
reserves which might have been withdrawn to strengthen 
the opposition to the forthcoming Anglo-French attack 
along the Somme, where the position was becoming criti- 

The Somme battle had been in progress three weeks 
before Australian troops, being sent against the Pozieres 
village, took part in it. For five weeks they fought to 


gain and hold these positions, being ultimately successful,, 
but losing some 25,000 men. During September and 
October the 1st Anzac Corps was moved to the Ypres 
salient for what practically amounted to garrison duty; 
and in November it was returned again to the old Somme 
battlefield, where the long, dreary European winter, with 
its wet, snow, and bitter cold, took severe toll of Aus- 
tralian lives. 

It was not until February 1917 that there were signs 
of activity on the long front. Then the Australian troops 
on the Bapaume Road reported that Germans before them 
were retreating, and the British General Headquarters 
ordered a reconnaissance along the whole front. During 
the last days of February there was severe fighting. The 
8th Brigade of the 5th Division (Australian) entered 
Bapaume on March 17 and, advancing quickly, captured 
Beaumetz village, lost it, and recaptured it on March 
21 and the succeeding days. On March 26, Lagnicourt 
was taken, and Noreuil, Louveral, and Doignies on April 
2. Hernies, Boursies, and Demicourt fell on April 9. 
A few days later the 1st Anzac Corps drew up before the 
new main German position the famous Hindenburg line. 

On April 9 the British command commenced an at- 
tack east of Arras, and on the llth the 4th Australian 
Division was sent against Bullecourt, the new and un- 
familiar "tanks" being used in place of the usual artillery 
preparation. Through the breakdown of the tanks the 
attack failed. Four days later the Germans counter- 
attacked and broke through the thinly-held Australian 
lines. A wonderfully stubborn defence by the Austra- 
lian defence-posts checked the enemy and gave opportun- 
ity for a well-timed counter-attack, which drove the 
enemy back to their own wire, where they were almost 
decimated by Australian rifle and machine-gun fire. 

During a second and mightier effort, commencing 
on May 3, the Australians were sent against Queant and 


Bullecourt, on the right flank. They managed to enter 
the Hindenburg line, but secured only a precarious hold 
until, after nine days 3 fighting, Bullecourt was captured. 
On the 15th they repulsed with great slaughter a counter- 
attack by the Prussian Guards Division. At the end of 
May the 1st Anzac Corps was withdrawn for rest. 

For nearly two years Australian, British, and Cana- 
dian tunnellers had been working for an attack under 
the Messines-Wytscharte Ridge and the German front 
line. The biggest of all the mines prepared for the 
Messines battle was at Hill 60, where continuous fighting 
had taken place underground. These mines were fired 
just before dawn on June 7, obliterating local enemy 
trenches. The assault was carried out with complete suc- 
cess and with surprisingly little loss, and the Ridge and 
reverse slopes were captured over their entire length. 
The seizure of the southern end of the Ridge and the cap- 
ture of the village of Messines was carried out by the 2nd 
Anzac Corps with the 3rd Australian, New Zealand, and 
British Divisions in line. During the afternoon the 4th 
Australian Division passed the New Zealanders, gaining 
a pre-arranged objective. 

The Australians first entered the Ypres battle fol- 
lowing some days later on September 20, though the 
Australian artillery had been in support of the British since 
July 31, The battle of Menin Road was one of a series 
of hops designed to recover definitely limited strips of 
ground along the Ypres front. The 1st and 2nd Aus- 
tralian Divisions drove the Germans into Polygon Wood. 
On the 26th, the 4th and 5th Australian Divisions cap- 
tured Polygon Wood and the outskirts of Zonnebeke 
village. On October 4 both Anzac Corps, with the 1st, 
2nd, and 3rd Australian Divisions and the New Zealand 
Division in line, captured the high ground of the Brood- 
seinde Ridge, at the moment when the enemy was prepar- 
ing to attack. The German and Australian troops met in 


"No-Man's" land, and the Australians completely out- 
fought their opponents. 

Still the Passchendaele Ridge was not completely in 
British hands, and the 2nd Australian Division made an- 
other advance on October 9. On the 12th the 3rd and 
4th Divisions and the New Zealanders attacked Passchen- 
daele, but; by the end of the day were forced to abandon 
the ground they had won. Two further attacks were 
made on the 22nd and 30th by Canadian and Australian 
troops, and on November 6 the Canadians won Passchen- 
daele village and the limit of the Ridge, Towards the 
close of the 1917 campaign three squadrons of the Aus- 
tralian Flying Corps made a first appearance in France. 
Nos. 2 and 3 Squadrons arrived during September and 
No. 4 in the following December. 

The year 1918 was marked by two events. The 
first was the formation of the five Australian Divisions 
in France into the Australian Army Corps under the com- 
mand, first, of General Birdwood, and then, on his pro- 
motion, of General Monash. The second event was the 
last and greatest German offensive. 

This last German drive commenced on March 21 
and for a time swept before it the French and British 
defences. Position after position, won by the expenditure 
of much British blood, fell again into the hands of the 
enemy, despite the most vigorous defence. In the many 
famous fights put up by the Australian troops during that 
period the battle of Villers Bretonneux stands out a 
supreme effort. 

Villers Bretonneux fell into the hands of the Ger- 
mans by sudden attack on April 24. The 13th and 15th 
Australian Infantry Brigades delivered a counter-attack, 
which began at 1 1 p.m. and ended at dawn on the anni- 
versary of the Anzac Landing. The ground had been 
but lightly reconnoitred and the chances of losing direc- 
tion at night were many. The instructions to the troops 


were to neglect all flanking fire from Villers Bretonneux 
and the woods beyond it, and to squeeze the Germans in 
the town between the jaws of a huge pincers of troops. 
The success of the movement exceeded the wildest expec- 
tations. By dawn the counter-attack had practically 
reached the old line north and south of Villers, thus 
surrounding three sides. The Germans in the town were 
either captured, killed, or driven out through a rapidly 
closing exit. 

For the succeeding three months the British troops 
rested and recuperated, while the Australian Divisions 
carried out successful raiding along the Morlancourt 
Ridge and captured Hamel village all movements un- 
dertaken under the command of General Monash and 
raising him high in the estimation of the British High 

The fury of the German last massed attack wore 
itself out before the stubborn defence of the British and 
Australian troops. On August 3, the Australians broke 
through the German defence behind Villers Bretonneux, 
completely demoralising the enemy. Other successes 
set the Germans in retreat, and by the end of August the 
whole German line from the Scarpe to the Somme were 
retiring, badly shaken, but not yet broken. On Sep- 
tember 17, the enemy came to a temporary halt before 
the old Hindenburg line, but the Australians and other 
British troops would not be denied. The Germans were 
pressed back and the supposedly impregnable Hindenburg 
line attacked. In November the long expected request 
for an Armistice came from the enemy and the war in 
Europe was over* 

When the main body of Australian troops journeyed 
to France (1916) they left behind them in Egypt the 
Australian and New Zealand Light Horse. For some 
months the work of this force consisted in the defence 
of the Canal Zone, and they saw some brisk fighting. 


By January 1917 Gkneral Murray, who commanded in 
Egypt, had pushed forward to the borders of Palestine, 
the land behind them being now secure from invasion 
by desert tribes. On March 26 an attack was launched 
on Gaza, which, when on the very point of success, had 
to be withdrawn because of the fresh Turkish troops 
marching to the relief of the town. This check gave the 
enemy time to complete and strengthen the Gaza-Beer- 
sheba position. General Allenby led the attack on this, 
line by a frontal attack on Beersheba, while General Chau- 
vel planned a flank attack. The scheme proved entirely 
successful, and by November 6 the Turks had abandoned 
the position constructed with so much care, and were in 
full flight. Allenby forced a keen pursuit and by De- 
cember 8 had captured Jerusalem. The Turks had halted 
a little way beyond Jerusalem, and on December 27 made 
an attempt to regain the city. Again repulsed, they be- 
came disorganised, and, after some minor operations, the 
Australians were able to push on and reach the Jordan,, 
capturing Jericho. 

Allenby's force crossed the Jordan on March 23 and 
by the 26th had reached the railway. Turkish and Ger- 
man reinforcements prevented the success of the raid, and 
the Australians had to be withdrawn. Another raid across- 
the Jordan was staged for April 30, with the object o 
capturing the Shunet-Nimrim position 5 but this also 
failed. In the meantime Allenby was forced into idle- 
ness by the withdrawal of a number of his best troops 
to face the German offensive in Flanders. To replace 
these troops, Allenby received Indian cavalry and infan- 
try, Jewish battalions, Armenians, Algerians, and coloured 
troops from the British West Indies and South Africa. 
With this army of mixed races he fought the famous 
Nablus battle, partly on the plains of Armageddon, com- 
pletely outwitting and outfighting the German command, 
On September 19 Allenby's infantry broke through the 


Turkish lines, and the cavalry commenced its famous ride 
around the enemy's rear. This ride was accomplished 
by the whole of Allenby's mounted troops some 12,000 
strong, under General Chauvel. The Australians then 
proceeded to roll up the enemy, inflicting dreadful 
slaughter. Damascus was captured on October 1 there 
not being, then, a Turkish army in the field. 


ALTHOUGH the inception of Railways in Australia dates 
back to 1845, the years from 1879 onwards were those 
of the large growth. During 1 845 a wave of railway 
promotions ran high in England. Among the 1263 
private bills lodged with the Clerk of Parliament (Lon- 
don) in that year was one for the construction by a private 
company of the Sydney, Parramatta, Richmond, and 
Windsor Railway. It was to be forty miles long and the 
cost was estimated at approximately 500,000. 

The news of the proposed London flotation was not 
long in reaching Sydney, and in the colony an agita- 
tion for the building of railways began. At a Public 
Meeting held on January 29, 1846, it was proposed to 
build a line from Sydney to Goulburn. Rough surveys 
were made by Lieutenant Woore, R.N., who reported 
to a meeting held on January 27, 1848. At that meet- 
ing it was decided to form the Sydney Railway Company. 
This Company was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 
1849, but, instead of commencing with the Sydney-Goul- 
burn Railway, it decided to turn its attention to the older 
project the Sydney-Parramatta line. Charles Cowper 
was the first president and manager of the Tramway and 
Railway Company. 

The first sod of the Sydney-Parramatta Railway was 
turned on July 3, 1850, by the daughter of the Governor, 


Sir Charles Fitzroy. Pending a settlement of the gauge 
question, then agitating the colonial governments, it was 
decided to let contracts for bridges, culverts, and earth- 
works between Sydney and Haslam's Creek (Rookwood). 
This work was well in hand when the discovery of gold 
in New South Wales and Victoria disorganised the labour 
market and the contractor had to be released from his 

To advance the construction of the railway, in which 
it was greatly interested, the Government imported five 
hundred navvies, and the work was at once resumed by the 
Company. Wages continued to leap upwards, and the 
Company became financially straitened. The Govern- 
ment, having advanced considerable sums of money 
some 150,000 in all for the construction of the line, 
was forced to intervene and take over the work and com- 
plete it. Three locomotives, built by Robert Stephenson 
and Co. of < Newcastle-on-Tyne, were imported and the 
railway between Sydney and Parramatta Junction (after- 
wards called Granville) was opened on September 26, 
1855. The cost ran to 565,7 10. 

The Hunter River Railway Company was incorpor- 
ated in October 1853, to build a line from Newcastle to 
West Maitland and beyond, and it began construction be- 
tween Newcastle and Morpeth, but soon found its finances 
unequal to the work. Again the Government had to 
take over and continue. Two four-wheeled tank loco- 
motives, constructed by William Fairbairn and Co. of 
Manchester, were bought. The section from Honey- 
suckle Point to East Maitland was opened during April 
1857, with a completed length of 17 miles 8f chains. The 
second section, from Honeysuckle Point to Newcastle, was 
opened in March 1858. 

Thus two private companies- had tried to build rail- 
ways in Australia, and in each case the Government, after 
advancing large sums, had been obliged to take over the 


work and the liabilities. The Ministry now decided 
that for the future railways should be a State 
monopoly, and in 1854 an Act was passed providing for 
the construction of railways by the Government and ap- 
pointing three Commissioners to operate them. The first 
Commissioner appointed was Captain Martindale. From 
that time construction was rapid. By 1 865 there was built 
a total length of 143 miles, with termini in the Sydney 
District at Darling Harbour, Picton, Penrith, and Rich- 
mond. In the Newcastle area the railway had been ex- 
tended to Singleton, with a branch from East Maitland 
to Morpeth. By 1875 the mileage had extended to 437 
and in 1885 had grown to 1732 miles. During June 
1883 a connection was established with the Victorian rail- 
way system at Albury, and in 1888 with the Queensland 
railway system at Wallangarra. 

From the inception of the first railway construction 
was rapid and often on no settled plan. Many sections, 
later to be linked up with the great trunk lines of the 
colonies, were in existence, but wer$ in many cases isolated 
from the cities. To construct the links so that the rail- 
ways functioned as a whole was the great problem facing 
the Governments, for many of those links consisted of 
long viaducts and large bridges over difficult places. 

When the Newcastle-Maitland Railway was first 
projected, with its extensions north, south, and westwards, 
it was realised that sooner or later Newcastle would have 
to be linked up with Sydney. In 1884 the bridging of 
the Hawkesbury River was commenced. The bridge was 
to be of seven spans of^416 feet each 5 the foundations 
of the piers of concrete, cased in steel caissons 5 the upper 
parts of the piers and abutments of masonry. The con- 
tract price was 327,000. 

In building the bridge each span was assembled on 
Dangar Island and was floated on pontoons to its posi- 
tion about 4000 feet distant. The bridge was completed 


and opened for traffic in 1889. It is notable for the in- 
troduction on a large scale of eye-and-pin connections in 
the tension members, and for the exceptional depth 120 
feet below the river-bed to which the piers had to be 

In 1910 the New South Wales Government Rail- 
way Commissioners abandoned the famous zigzag by 
which the railway descended the Blue Mountains into the 
Lithgow valley, and the traffic was diverted to a much 
easier, though longer, gradient. The ascent of the Blue 
Mountains from the east (which at first had been accom- 
plished by a minor zigzag) is now made by a long easy 
deviation which reduced the grade from 1 in 30 to 1 in 
80. Similar well-planned deviations were put in hand 
to replace the original steep ascent at Picton on the south- 
ern line, and at Stanwell Park on the South Coast Rail- 

In 1 925 the length of railway owned and worked by 
the New South Wales Government totalled 5656 miles. 
In addition there were 324^ miles of other railways, prin- 
cipally private lines used for the conveyance of coal and 
other minerals 5 also small lines worked by the Public 
Works and Defence Departments. On June 30, 1925, 
there were 359 miles of railway under construction, and 
these have been added to from year to year. 

The quick growth of population in the larger towns 
and cities necessitated the duplication of certain tracks. 
In addition to this work grades have been reduced and 
curves obliterated where possible. The southern line is 
duplicated, as is also the western line to a point beyond- 
Orange 5 the northern line has been doubled past Branx- 
ton and the south coast line past Wollongong. In addi- 
tion, the Sydney suburban and Newcastle suburban lines 
have been quadrupled. 

Many of the suburban lines around Sydney have 
been electrified, and in 1928 the government passed out 


of loan funds the sum of 1,124,661 for the continuance 
of this work. 

During 1927-28 a great move was made in the con- 
struction of the city underground railway. The first 
section, from Central Station to St James Station, was 
opened for traffic on December 20, 1926 the Illawarra 
traffic being then carried into the heart of the city. On 
September 25, 1927, the passengers from Bankstown were 
also taken through Central Station to St James Station. 
During the rush-hours of the day some thirty trains an 
hour pass from St. James Station to serve the Illawarra- 
Bankstown lines. 

Much effective work has been accomplished in the 
difficult tunnelling and cut and cover work for the other 
sections of the city's underground railway. The great 
cut at Wynyard Square is almost completed, and during 
1929 this station- junction will be built and covered in. 
The Town Hall Station is well under way, and the con- 
necting tunnels in the four sections of the work are rapidly 
approaching completion. For this work, during Decem- 
ber 1928, Parliament voted out of loan money some 
786,194, bringing the total of expenditure to 
3,683,335. New lines in the suburbs are being pushed 
forward. For the Regent's Park-Bankstown line the 
Government appropriated in December 1928 some 
45,000 a sum sufficient to complete the work. For the 
Booyong-Ballina Railway a further sum of 51,302 has 
been set aside, making a total expenditure for this railway 
of 336,704, in spite of the original estimate for the work 
being but 144,232. The Tempe-East Hills Railway is 
to be expedited, and for this work Parliament voted 
1 50,2 1 9. For the railway necessary to open Port Kem- 
bla to the southern line at Moss Vale 3 1 1,1 03 was voted. 
Other expenditure on city and suburban lines requires in 
the immediate future 57,257, while 1,812,783 has been 
allocated for the equipment of new lines, rolling stock, 
buildings, etc. 


Victoria. The Victorian railways were for many years 
under not very successful private companies. During 
June 1852 a deputation waited on Governor Latrobe ad- 
vocating a railway from Melbourne to Mount Alexander* 
The promoters asked for a loan, a grant of money towards 
survey expenses, a free grant of land six chains wide along 
the entire length of the proposed railway (100 miles), a 
square mile of land in each ten miles along the proposed 
route, and a guaranteed dividend upon subscribed capital. 
At the end of the resultant negotiations they obtained very 
excellent terms, although far less than they had asked 

During the following year the Melbourne-Mount 
Alexander and Murray River Company's Act was passed 
through Parliament. A grant of 5000 towards the 
survey expenses was made by the Government, and for 
some considerable time formed the only assets of the 
Company. The first sod was turned in June 1854, but 
little progress was made. Finally the Government had 
to step in and complete construction. 

The Melbourne and Hobson's Bay Railway Com- 
pany was incorporated in 1853 to construct a line from 
Flinders Street, Melbourne, to Sandridge (Port Mel- 
bourne), the gauge to be 5ft. 3in. The Government 
granted the Company a strip of land 100 yards wide 
along the length of the line, and station sites of over 24 
acres in Melbourne and over nine acres at Sandridge. This 
railway was opened during September 1854, being the 
first steam railway to operate in Australia. The company 
constructed a branch line between Port Melbourne and 
St. Kilda, which was opened on May 15, 1857. 

The Geelong and Melbourne Railway Company was 
incorporated in 1853 with a capital of 350,000. The 
Government granted a strip of land 100 yards wide for 


the length of the line, recesses for stations, Hi acres of 
land at Geelong for a terminus, 1000 preliminary ex- 
penses, and guaranteed a dividend of five per cent on the 
17,500 shares. But the construction of this line pro- 
ceeded very slowly. The Geelong to Duck Ponds sec- 
tion was opened in October 1856, and the line from Wil- 
liamstown Junction to Geelong was ready in 1857. The 
Government acquired this railway in 1860. 

The Melbourne and Suburban Railway Company, 
Incorporated on November 24, 1857, built the line from 
Princes Bridge, Melbourne, to Chapel Street, Prahran; 
and from Swan Street Station, Richmond, to Hawthorn. 
Free grants of land were made by the Government. The 
section to Punt Road was opened on February 8, 1858} to 
Cremorne Gardens on December 12, 1859, and to Chapel 
Street on December 22, 1860. The Hawthorn branch 
was opened on October 1, 1860. 

The Melbourne and Hobson's Bay and Melbourne 
and Suburban Companies amalgamated in 18 66 5 subse- 
quently the Brighton Railway Company joined the amal- 
gamation. The title of the Company was then altered 
to the "Melbourne and Hobson's Bay United Railway 
Company," and a connection was built between the 
Flinders Street and Princes Bridge stations. In 1878 
the Government purchased the system (9f miles of 
double track and 6| miles of single track railway) for 

In 1856 the Government passed Acts of Parliament 
authorising the construction of 185 miles of railway, in- 
cluding lines from Melbourne to Castlemaine, Geelong to 
Ballarat and westward, and a branch line to Williams- 
town. In the following year a bill was presented in 
Parliament, and passed, authorising the construction of 
main track lines, including that to the Murray River. 

At the end of the year 1 865 Victoria owned 273 
miles of railway, the termini being at Melbourne, Port 


Melbourne, St. Kilda, Brighton Beach, Hawthorn, Gee- 
long, Ballarat, and Echuca. By 1875, 615 miles of rail- 
ways had been built, and in 1885 the total mileage had 
grown to 1672. 

In 1925 some seventy years after the opening of 
the first railway there were in Victoria 4491 miles of 
railway in public use and 180^ miles under construction. 
In addition there were 61^ miles of privately owned 
railways, used mainly for timber, firewood, and sand 

The Melbourne Suburban Railway system in the year 
1925 handled an enormous amount of business some 
156,678,519 journeys. The suburban lines are almost 
entirely electrified, and "Tait" cars, with sliding doors 
and seating accommodation for 92 persons in each car, 
are used on this service. The normal make-up of a subur- 
ban train is six cars, but during the off-hours of the day 
f our-and-two car trains are used. 

South Australia claims to have passed in 1847 the 
first Australian Railway Act of Parliament. This Act 
contained many of the obsolete provisions contained in the 
English Acts of the same period. An engine must consume 
its own smoke under a penalty of 5 per day 5 private per- 
sons could provide their own waggons and run them on the 
lines, etc. 

The Adelaide City and Port Railway Company was 
floated in London during 1848. The company proposed 
to use the 4ft. 8^in. gauge for a line from the city to 
the port of Adelaide, and to construct a branch line to 
the north arm of the river, the South Australian Govern- 
ment to guarantee 5 per cent on the estimated cost of 
construction for ten years. However, as the Company 
regarded the venture more in the light of a land specula- 
tion than of a railway, and the Government would not 
grant the large areas of land asked for, the project fell 


through. Later the Government built the railway, alter- 
ing the gauge to 5ft. 3in. and allocating 50,000 out of 
the public funds for the purpose. This was, the first 
Government Railway line on British soil. The cost of 
construction exceeded the estimate by many thousands 
of pounds, mainly through the labour troubles incidental 
to the finding of gold at that time in New South Wales 
and Victoria. Wages went to a great height, a labourer 
obtaining 20/- a day, while a man with a cart and horse 
was paid 12 per week. 

In 1854 the South Australian Government began 
to construct a trunk line northward. It had previously 
declared a railway policy for the colony. The great trunk 
lines of the colony would be built on the 5ft. 3in. gauge, 
while the feeder lines would use the 3ft. 6in. gauge. 
The first section of the northern trunk line was from Ade- 
laide to Gawler, some twenty-four miles. This section 
was opened on October 5, 1857. 

During this period there was always at the back 
of the minds of the rulers of South Australia the ideal 
of a great trunk line from Adelaide due northwards until 
the northern seas were reached. The first section of this 
project was the construction of the overland (north-south) 
telegraph line between Adelaide and Darwin. This was 
opened in 1872. The first section of the railway that 
was to parallel the telegraph line the Port Augusta- 
Oodnadatta Railway was begun in 1878 and completed 
in 1891. The second section of the great trans-continen- 
tal work was planned from Darwin to Pine Creek, in the 
far north-lands. In 1883 an Act was passed by Parlia- 
ment authorising the construction of this section on the 
3ft. 6in. gauge. The sum of 959,300 was raised for 
the purpose, besides a further sum of 57,000 for the 
construction of a jetty at Palmerston (now Darwin). 
Alternative tenders for the constructional work were 
called for, the tenders to be for European or Chinese 


labour. The tenders for Chinese labour proved so much 
lower than those providing for white labour that they 
had to be accepted. At one time some 3000 Chinese were 
employed on the construction of the line. The railway 
was opened to the Adelaide River on June 1, 1888, and 
completed to Pine Creek by October 1, 1889. 

The linking up of the South Australian railway sys- 
tem with the Victorian system at Serviceton marked the 
first through communication between colonies trains 
from Melbourne being able to pass through to Adelaide 
without a break of gauge. In 1865 South Australia had 
only 68 miles of railways; in 1875 it possessed 209 miles 
of railways opened, and in 1885 the total mileage 
amounted to 1203 miles. 

In 1925 the mileage of State-owned lines in South 
Australia was 245 If, the State having lost 623^ miles of 
railways by the handing over of the Oodnadatta-Port 
Augusta and the Darwin-Pine Creek (Northern Terri- 
tory Railways) to the Commonwealth Government in 
1911. In addition to the State Railways there are fifty 
miles of private lines in use. In June 1925 there were 
1 14 miles of railways under construction in the State. 

Queensland, from the inception of her railways, kept 
two main policies in view. First, that all construction 
and ownership should be by and for the Government 5 
second, that the railways should be decentralised. Un- 
fortunately considerations of expense, material to so young 
a colony, made advisable the adoption of the 3ft. 6in. 

In 1863 an Act of the Queensland Parliament pro- 
vided for the construction and regulation of the colony's 
railways. The Government almost immediately let a 
contract to an English firm for the construction of a line 
from Ipswich to the Little Liverpool Range 2l miles. 
The railway from Ipswich to Bigge's Camp (Grand- 
Chester) was opened in 1865; that from Rockhampton to 


Westwood was opened in 1867, and the section from 
Grandchester to Toowoomba in the same year. It was 
not until eight years later (in 1875) that the short con- 
nection of 4% miles (Oxley Point to Roma Street) joined 
the capital to the railway system. Connection was made 
with the New South Wales Railway system at Wallan- 
garra in 1888. 

The steel bridge over the Brisbane River at Indoo- 
roopilly, on the Queensland Railway system, was des- 
troyed by a flood in 1 893. The construction of the Albert 
Bridge was immediately placed in hand and was com- 
pleted by 1895, at a cost of 70,894. It consists of two 
340-feet double spans of double-intersection hog-back 
girders. The piers and abutments are of faced masonry, 
the former standing on wrought-iron illiptical caissons 
filled with concrete. The centre pier is 1 00 feet above the 
bed of the river. 

Between the years 1918 and 1928 Queensland made 
great strides in railway development. In 1925 only 
sixty years after the first railway was opened, there were 
6114^ miles of railway in use the greatest mileage of 
any State system. In addition there were 1302 miles 
of privately owned railways, built mainly for the carriage 
of sugar-cane and coal. The policy of the Queensland 
Government has been to provide railways in advance of 
settlement, and in the year 1925 it was computed that 
there was a route mile of Government Railway for every 
140 persons in the State. 

This policy of railway before settlement has been 
a great factor in the development of the country, especi- 
ally as the fares and freights have been kept compara- 
tively low. The seaports as far north as Cairns are 
now all connected, the last section being Lilypond to Card- 
well, opened in December 1924. In addition railway 
lines run westward from the all important seaports, 
thoroughly opening up the State's hinterlands. 


Western Australia. The latest established colony on 
Australian continent Western Australia did not begia 
railway construction until long after the eastern colonies 
The first line to be built was from Lockeville to Yoganup- 
a distance of only 12 miles and this was constructed 
in 1871 for the Western Australian Timber Company. 

Another short strip of railway was built between 
Geraldton and Northampton for the service of the copper 
mines of the latter town. The gauge was 3ft. 6in. 
Construction began in 1874, but the line was not opened 
for traffic until 1879, though a small section was unoffici- 
ally used after September 1877. 

The most important section of railway constructioa 
undertaken in Western Australia before 1888 was the 
railway from Fremantle through Perth (the capital) to< 
Guildford, linking the most populous areas and forming 
the nucleus of the future grand trunk lines to the north,, 
east, and south. At the end of the year 1885 Western 
Australia had a total of 124 miles of railway. 

Under the forceful policy of John Forrest the State- 
made great strides in railway communication. The length 
of the Government-owned lines was increased from 203* 
miles in 1893 to 1434 miles in 1903. The 242-miles. 
line from Albany to Beverley, which was constructed in 
1889 on the land-grant principle by the West Australian 
Land Company, was purchased by the Government in 
1896 for 1,100,000, the company handing over the 
whole of its properties and relinquishing its claim to about 
2,700,000 acres of land 

Another long stretch, from Midland Junction to 
Walkaway, was constructed on the land-grant system by 
the Midland Railway Company of Western Australia, aw 
English company with headquarters in London. This line 
is important in opening up the coastal districts towards 
the north, since at its north end it joins the Government 
Northampton-Geraldton Railway at Walkaway, and the 


main Government railway system at Midland Junction 
at its south end, thus forming a complete link between 
Geraldton and Perth, the capital. The constructing Com- 
pany was granted land to the extent o 12,000 acres per 
mile constructed, to be selected anywhere along the route 
o the railway within a belt extending 40 miles on each 
side of the line. The total grant acquired by the Mid- 
land Railway Company under these conditions was 
3,316,464 acres, and some of the land is the finest grain- 
growing country in the western colony. The Govern- 
ment also helped the Company through financial difficul- 
ties which, at least once, caused a cessation of construction. 
The line was completed and opened for traffic on Novem- 
ber 24, 1894. Since then the Government has on several 
occasions tried to purchase it, but without success. 

In 1925 the mileage of Government-owned railways 
in Western Australia totalled 3733, and there were 826 
miles of privately-owned railways in the state, the whole 
making a mile route of railway for every 8 1 of the popu- 
lation. On June 30, 1925, there were 138^ miles of 
railway under construction. Of the private lines, most of 
them, outside the Midland Railway Company's system, 
are used for the conveyance of timber and firewood. 

Tasmania. In the island colony of Tasmania railway 
construction began in 1867 with the authorisation of a 
line from Launceston to Deloraine. This line, known 
as the Launceston and Western Railway, was built on the 
5ft. 3in. gauge. It was opened on February 10, 1871. 
Soon afterwards the constructing company became finan- 
cially involved, and the Government took over the rail- 

An Act of Parliament was passed in 1 869 to empower 
the Tasmanian Main-line Railway Company to build a 
line of 122 miles from Hobart to Evandale, near Laun- 
ceston, where it would join the Deloraine Railway. 


Owing to the heavy mountainous country over which the 
construction passed, it was decided to build the railway on 
the 3ft. 6in. gauge. From Evandale, where the two lines 
of railway met, it was decided to lay a third rail on the 
5ft. 3in. gauge, so that trains could pass direct into Laun- 
ceston. Construction of the railway was begun in 1872, 
and the line was opened on November 1, 1876, the cost 
being 1, 190,000; in 1890 it was acquired by the Tas- 
manian Government at a cost of 1,106,500. 

In 1925 the Tasmanian Government owned 673 
miles of railway. In addition there were 23 5i miles pri- 
vately owned a much larger proportion than in any 
other state of the Commonwealth. The Emu Bay Rail- 
way Company and the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway 
Company both handle general traffic passenger and 
goods and other private lines handle minerals and 
timber as well. 

Commonwealth. Long before the inception of Federation 
the East- West Transcontinental Railway had become a 
question of vital importance. Sir John Forrest claimed 
asserting it again and again in the early days of the 
Federal Parliament that this railway, to connect West- 
ern Australia with her sister states on the east coast, was 
the principal inducement offered to the western State to 
accept Federation. He argued that the East- West Rail- 
way stood on the same basis as the concession made to 
New South Wales that the Federal Capital should be 
within the mother colony. However true the con- 
tention of the great Westralian may be, it is certain 
that, while the location of the Federal Capital was 
an obligation written into the Constitution, there is 
no such written record for the East-West Railway. 
But the Federal Parliament from its earliest days 
realised the disability of having one of the members 
of the Federation cut off from communication with 


the eastern States except by a tedious sea-voyage. 
Further, from the first sitting of the Federal Parliament 
its members were continually engaged with the question 
of the defence of Australia, and the East-West Railway 
was of vital importance to any scheme of defence. If, 
later, Western Australia extended its coastal railway 
beyond Geraldton into the wild-lands of the Kimberleys, 
then, with the Queensland northern system in building, 
the northlands would be held from east and west, as if 
in the grip of a gigantic pair of pliers. Moreover, with 
the transcontinental as a base, and the east and west coastal 
lines spreading north, the greater part of the problem of 
the settlement of the central northlands would be closer 
to solution. 

The programme of legislation formulated by the 
Barton Federal Ministry definitely pledged the building 
of the East- West Transcontinental Railway. In the Fed- 
eral Parliament the Western Australian members insist- 
ently agitated that a commencement of the work should 
be made. In 1907 an Act was passed providing funds for 
the necessary surveys of the 1063 miles of route between 
Port Augusta, the terminus of the proposed line in South 
Australia, and Kalgoorlie, where the transcontinental line 
would join the Western Australian Railways system. 

The survey was completed in March 1909 and 
showed the exact distance of the proposed Commonwealth 
Railway to be 1051^ miles, passing through some good, 
as well as some poor lands. In 1911 a Federal Act 
authorised the construction of the line, provided that 
Western Australia and South Australia granted the neces- 
sary land. On September 14, 1912, the first sod of the 
railway was turned by Lord Denman at Port Augusta, 
and the two ends met on the Nullarbor Plain during 
October 1917, 

In the construction of the line no great engineering 
difficulties were encountered. Throughout its long length 


it passes over no stream of water, and for 330 miles it 
travels the Nullarbor Plain in a dead-straight line, with 
but slight gradients. The principal difficulty was the lack 
of water along the route. Borings produced only water 
of a very poor quality, some being without commercial or 
human use. Tanks had to be constructed at intervals 
along 500 miles of the line. Yet, despite these difficulties, 
the construction was rapid. In one day 2 miles and 40 
chains of rails were laid; in one week 14 miles and SO 
chains 5 in four weeks 46 miles, 62 chains 5 and in one year 
442 miles, 44 chains. 

As the whole length of the railway passed over un- 
occupied country, the Commonwealth Railway Depart- 
ment was forced to provide wholly for its officials and 
workmen. Stores, bakeries, butcheries, water-stations, 
and boarding-houses (some of them large enough to house 
five hundred men at a time) had to be constructed and 
fitted, for both stationary and travelling purposes. Then, 
after the line was constructed and in working, arrange- 
ments had to be made, and continued, to bring to the 
employees stationed on the vast waste spaces the neces- 
sities of life even water. 

On this east-west railway were used the first rails 
rolled in Australia (they came from the mills of G. and 
C. Hoskins, of Eskbank, New South Wales), as well as 
the first rails rolled at the mills of the Broken Hill Pro- 
prietary Limited, of Newcastle, New South Wales. 

During 1914 the Federal Government opened the 
only railway in Federal Capital Territory. It runs from 
Queanbeyan to Canberra, some 4 miles and 75 chains, and 
was built on the 4ft. 8^in. gauge. 

In 1923, the Government authorised the extension 
of the Darwin-Katherine Railway southward to Daly 
Waters. This necessitated the bridging of the Katherine 
River, a very formidable and expensive undertaking* 
The bridge was completed in 1926, and tenders for the 


extension of the railway were called for. It is possible 
that this extension will be opened during 1929. 

On the southern borders of the Northern Territory 
the Victorian Proprietary Company have been building 
for the Commonwealth Government an extension of the 
Oodnadatta-Port Augusta Railway towards Alice Springs 
(a town almost exactly in the centre of Australia). The 
distance to be covered is 291 miles. In December 1928 
the section from Oodnadatta to Rumbalara was completed, 
and a weekly train service has been established. To com- 
plete the work to Alice Springs will necessitate another 
121 miles of construction, and this is expected to be 
completed by June 1929. 


EVERY year the question of the varying gauges of 
Australian Railways comes up for discussion. It has been 
recognised that at a very early date some way of obviating 
the constant change of gauge between the States will have 
to be arrived at. Numerous ingenious solutions have been 
propounded, but none of them of any great practicability. 
There seems to be no alternative to the adoption of 
a universal gauge for Australia and to the alteration of all 
State railways to comply with it. 

Queensland and Western Australia build their rail- 
ways on the 3ft. 6in. gauge 5 Victoria and South Australia 
adopted the 5ft. 3in. for their main trunk lines; New 
South Wales constructs on the 4ft. 8^in. gauge. When 
the Commonwealth Government entered the field of 
railway construction it adopted the almost universal 4ft. 
8^in. gauge. Thus, except between Victoria and South 
Australia, it is imperative for passengers and goods to be 
changed from one gauge to another at border towns. 

But for an error on the part of the Government of 
New South Wales it is probable that Australia would have 


built on only one gauge. The mistake came about simply. 
When, in 1848, the New South Wales Government for- 
warded to the Home Government proposals for railways 
in the colony 5 the 4ft. 8-Jin. gauge was suggested and 
approved. But the construction of the first railway was 
in the hands of an Irishman who warmly advocated the 
Irish gauge (5ft. 3in.). The matter was referred to the 
English Commissioners, who decided that the question of 
the gauge was not worth much thought. When the ques- 
tion of gauge was again raised with the Colonial Office, the 
reply was sent to the New South Wales Government that 
the colony could please itself in the matter* Mr Shields, 
the engineer for the construction company, stuck man- 
fully to the 5ft. Sin. gauge, and succeeded in persuading 
the New South Wales officials to adopt his views. By 
Legislative Act the 5ft. 3in. gauge was fixed for the rail- 
ways of the colony, and the Governments of Victoria and 
South Australia were so advised. But long before the 
legislative Act was passed even before the reply of the 
Colonial Office to the second question was received 
Shields had resigned and returned to England. His 
successor, James Wallace, a Scot, reported to the Govern- 
ment in September 1 852 in favour of the 4ft. 8-^in. gauge. 
In 1853 a new Act was passed, sanctioning the narrow 
gauge, but neither Victoria nor South Australia was noti- 
fied of this change of purpose until after they had 
completed their arrangements for the construction of 
their railways on the 5ft. 3 in. gauge. These two states, 
on going into the cost of making the change at that stage, 
found the expense would be very great, and decided to 
continue with their original plans, 


New South Wales. Tramways in Australia are almost 
entirely confined within the boundaries of towns and 


cities. The first tramway in New South Wales was con- 
structed very soon after the opening of the first Rail- 
way (the Sydney-Parramatta line) and extended from 
Circular Quay to the Railway Station, a distance of If 
miles. The cars were horse-drawn, and the rails were 
laid on the roadway, projecting inches above the surface. 
So dangerous and obstructive was this tramway that 
in 1865 it was removed, and Sydney remained without 
tramway service until September 1879, when a line was 
laid from Hunter Street to the Railway Station, via 
Elizabeth Street, to carry passengers to and from the 
International Exhibition in the Inner Domain. The 
cars were double-deckers and were hauled by steam 

An extension of this tramway from Hunter Street 
to Bridge Street was opened in 1882. Meanwhile lines 
had been laid to Randwick in 1881 j Waverley in 1881 j 
Cleveland Street in 1881 j Botany in 1882} Forest Lodge 
in 1882; and Glebe Point in 1882. In 1885 Sydney had 
27^ miles of tramways. Thenceforward progress slack- 
ened. By 1895 the tramway mileage had only increased 
to 40^. The King Street to Ocean Street cable tramway 
was opened in September 1894, and the first electric tram- 
way in Australia was built to run between Randwick and 
Waverley and was opened for traffic on December 9, 

In Newcastle, the first tramway was opened between 
Perkins Street and Plattsburg in 1887, covering a dis- 
tance of eight miles. Four miles of steam tramways, from 
East to West Maitland, were built in 1909. In the far 
west of the State, ten miles of steam-operated tramways 
were opened at Broken Hill between February 1902 and 
December 1912. 

Victoria. The Melbourne Omnibus Company, formed in 
1 869, proposed, nine years after its inception, to introduce 


a tramway system into the city, and changed its name to 
the Melbourne Tramway and Omnibus Company. In 
1883 Parliament passed an act authorising the company 
to construct cable tramways in the streets of Melbourne 
and suburbs with the consent of the municipalities inter- 
ested, who, however, had the option of constructing the 
lines themselves. The municipalities decided to exercise 
the option given to them, and formed a Tramway Trust 
of seven members from the Melbourne City Council and 
one member each from eleven of the surrounding muni- 
cipalities. A loan of 1,650,000 was raised for the con- 
struction of lines, power-houses, etc. An Amending Act 
of 1892 provided that the tramways should be completed 
before the end of 1893 and leased to the Melbourne 
Tramway and Omnibus Company for a term of thirty- 
two years from July 1884, when liability for interest on 
loans began. The Company had to provide rolling-stock, 
equip lines and power-houses, pay licence-fees for cars, 
drivers, and conductors, and municipal rates. The Com- 
pany had also to provide a sinking fund and interest on 
loan and to hand over the lines and equipment in good 
working order at the termination of the lease. 

The first line opened was from Melbourne to Rich- 
mond, in 1885. Other lines followed at short intervals 
and the system of 43^ miles of double-track cable lines, 
and 4^ miles of double-track horse-drawn lines, was com- 
pleted in 1891. The horse tramways were later converted 
to cable. 

After the year 1900 the municipalities around Mel- 
bourne engaged extensively in tramway construction. 
The Prahran-Malvern Tramway Trust, appointed by the 
Municipal Councils of Prahran, Malvern, St. Kilda, Haw- 
thorn, Kew, Camberwell, and Caulfield built and oper- 
ated electric tramways 35.11 miles in length, the first 
section being opened on May 31, 1910. The Hawthorn 
Tramway Trust opened the first section of an electric line 


between Princes Bridge and Power Street, Hawthorn, on 
April 6, 1916, and eventually operated 1 LI 2 miles. The 
first section of the Melbourne, Brunswick, and Coburg 
tramways (7.07 miles) from Moreland Road to Bell 
Street was opened on April 27, 1916. A cable tramway 
between Clifton Hill and Preston (2^ miles), built by 
a private company, was subsequently bought by the North- 
cote City Council. The North Melbourne Tramways, ex- 
tending 11.75 miles, were also constructed by a private 
company between Flemington Bridge and the Saltwater 
River and were opened towards the end of 1906. 

Under an Act of Parliament of 1904 the Board of 
Land and Works was authorised to construct a tramway 
from St. Kilda to Brighton. The line to Park Street, 
Middle Brighton, was opened on May 7, 1906, and the 
extension to Brighton Beach was completed on December 
22 of the same year. The total length is 5.16 miles and 
is on the 5ft. Sin. gauge. This tramway, and also the 
electric line from Sandringham to Black Rock (now ex- 
tended to Beaumaris), and opened in March 1919, are 
under the control of the Railway Commissioners. 

Queensland. The first tramways in Brisbane were horse- 
drawn and were opened on August 12, 1885. The system 
failed to return a profit and was later transformed to 
haulage by electric power. The first line converted was 
from North Quay to Breakfast Creek. 

In 1909 the Rockhampton Municipal Council opened 
a system of steam-hauled trams, the track being built on 
the 3ft. 6in. gauge and the length being 6.65 miles. Many 
other tramways have been constructed in Queensland, but 
mainly for the purpose of the conveyance of sugar-cane 
from the fields to the mills and therefore not to be pro- 
perly classed as tramways. 


South Australia. A system of horse-drawn tramways was 
constructed for Adelaide by private companies in 1878 
and continued under private control until 1906, when the 
Municipal Tramways Trust Act authorised the Govern- 
ment to acquire all lines. The trust consisted of eight 
members and was given wide powers for extension and 
operation. The forty-nine miles of tramways were pur- 
chased by the Government for 283,357 and converted 
to electric haulage. The first electric system Kensing- 
ton to Norwood was opened on March 9, 1909. 

Tasmania. In Hobart a commencement of tramway traffic 
was made by the construction of nine miles of electric 
tramways by a private company. They were opened for 
service in 1893 and were subsequently purchased by the 
Hobart Municipal Council. 

Under the Launceston Tramway Act of 1906 the 
City Council came to an agreement with a private com- 
pany for the construction of an electric tramway system. 
The agreement lapsed, and the City Council constructed 
and now operates the lines. The system was opened on 
August 16, 1911, and is now 10^ miles in length. 

Western Australia. In 1912 the Western Australian 
Government opened negotiations for the purchase of 
the tramway system from the English Company which 
built and operated it. A Tramways Purchase Act was 
passed, and the whole of the system in Perth and suburbs 
was taken over by the Government in July 1913. 
The tramways have been placed under the control of 
the Commissioner for Railways. The Nedlands Park 
Tramway and the Victoria Park Municipal Tramways 
were also acquired by the Government in 1913$ and 
the Osborne Park Tramway on December 15, 1914. 

The Kalgoorlie and Boulder Tramways are operated 
by a private company. The first section of the system was 
opened in 1902 and the last section completed in 1904. 


The Fremantle electric tramways (8.61 route miles) 
are owned and operated by the Municipal Coun- 
cil, with power taken from the Government Electric 
Trust. They were opened in November 1905 and are 
on the 3ft. 6in. gauge, as are all the other tramways in 
the State. 


THE first Act in New South Wales providing for any 
system of Local Government was entitled the Parish 
Roads Act and was passed in 1 840. Under this Act one- 
third of the proprietors of land through which, or within 
three miles of which, a parish road passed could requisi- 
tion the magistrates in Petty Session for authority to elect 
Trustees, who were empowered to levy rates not exceed- 
ing 6d. per acrej to buy, sell, or exchange lands 5 to ap- 
point surveyors j to establish tolls and toll-bars and let 
them on lease for periods not exceeding twelve months j 
and to borrow money for road-making and road-repair- 

The Imperial Act of 1 842 empowered the Governor 
to constitute district councils with local functions, the 
revenue to be raised by levying rates within the district. 
Qualifications for councillors were the same as for the 
Legislative CoundL The duties of these Councils were 
the construction and upkeep of the roads, streets, bridges, 
and public buildings; the establishment and support of 
schools 5 the purchase, sale, and management of property $ 
the provision of means for defraying certain expenses con- 
nected with the administration of justice and the police. 
This comprehensive scheme of Local Government was 
strongly opposed by the colonists, mainly because of the 
provision for the local authority to pay half the cost of 
the police expenses while the sole control of the police 
lay with the Governor. 


Under the above Act there was incorporated in 1 843 
a district including Appin, Narellan, Campbelltown, Cam- 
den, and Picton. Later, Appin and Carnpbelltown were 
constituted separate districts. In 1 844 there were twenty- 
eight district councils in the colony. With the exception 
of certain road-trusts, specially established, no further ex- 
tension of Local Government took place in the colony 
until 1858, when the Municipalities Act was passed. This 
Act provided for the incorporation of any town or rural 
district as a municipality upon petition from any fifty 
resident householders. Elections were to be held under a 
ratepayer franchise. Revenue was to be derived from 
tolls, a general rate on assessed annual value, and special 
rates for sewerage, etc. Provision was made for a 
Government subsidy for a limited period after incorpora- 
tion. Under this Act thirty-five districts were incor- 
porated thirty-three of which still exist. 

An Act of 1867 repealed the Municipalities Act of 
1858 and provided for the classification of all future 
municipalities into boroughs and municipal districts, ex- 
isting municipalities being classed as boroughs. A city, 
town, or suburb of the metropolis, or of any populous 
country district, could be constituted a borough if it con- 
tained a population of not less than 1000 and an area of 
not more than nine square miles, of which no part was 
farther distant from any other part than six miles. Any 
area of country not containing a borough and having a 
population of not less than 500 and an area of not more 
than fifty square miles might be constituted a municipal 
district Incorporation was voluntary, and plural voting 
for the aldermen was allowed. During the succeeding 
years a great number of amendments were made to this 
Act, and these, with the original Act, were consolidated in 
a new Act in 1897 without any new principles being in- 

The city of Sydney was incorporated in 1 842. In the 


year 1 849 a Select Committee of Parliament reported that 
the City Council had lost the confidence of the citizens 
and was an impediment to the advancement of the city. 
The Select Committee added to its report a recommenda- 
tion that the Council should be dissolved and that its 
powers should be administered by three Commissioners. 
A resolution embodying the features of the Select Com- 
mittee's report was rejected by the Legislative Council in 
1849} but, after further consideration and a further re- 
port by a Select Committee, in 1853 the Corporation was 
dissolved and the city placed under the rule of three Com- 
missioners. Self-government was not restored to the citi- 
zens until 1857. 

Except for a number of minor amendments which 
complicated the working of the Act, no further provision 
for Local Government was made until 1905. The Shires 
Act, passed in that year, formulated an entirely new sys- 
tem of Local Government. The voluntary system was 
abandoned, it being shown that under the voluntary sys- 
tem only 2830 square miles had been incorporated out of 
a total of 3 1 0,372. The new Act divided the State, with 
the exception of existing municipalities and the sparsely- 
settled western district, into shires, and these were sub- 
divided into ridings, with equal representation on the 
Shire Council. The powers given to these councils were 
very wide and comprehensive. The rating was to be on 
the unimproved value of land, and not, as before, on the 
annual rental value. Immediately the Shires came into 
existence, the State Land Tax was withdrawn. 

The principles adopted in the Shires Act were ex- 
tended to Municipalities by the Local Government Exten- 
sion Act of 1906, in which the distinction between muni- 
cipal districts and boroughs was abolished. The Governor 
was empowered to proclaim as a city any municipality 
which had, during the five years preceding the Proclama- 
tion, an average population of at least 20,000, with an 


average revenue of at least 20,000, and which formed 
an independent centre of population. 

The Local Government Act of 1906, consolidating 
the acts governing the Shires and Municipalities, came 
into force in 1907. This was amended in 1907 and 1908 
and was finally repealed by the Local Government Act of 

Small changes were made in the Local Government 
Acts in New South Wales between the years 1909 and 
1918. In the last year Local Government was vitally 
affected by the passing of the Women's Legal Status Act, 
which gave women equal rights with men in election to 
the offices of aldermen and councillors. 

The Local Government Act of 1919, passed by the 
New South Wales Parliament, continued and improved 
the system adopted in 1906. Under it new Shires could 
be established, while the old ones continued or were 
altered to suit circumstances. In addition much larger 
municipal units could be constructed through the provision 
for municipalities and shires to join in creating county 
districts. Under this provision four county districts have 
been "formed St. George, Richmond River, Clarence 
River, and Southern Riverina. The Act also provides 
for units smaller than shires, and any village or town in a 
shire may be proclaimed an urban area, with a committee 
of three members exercising certain powers locally under 
the supervision of the Shire Council. 

Each shire is divided into three ridings, and muni- 
cipalities may be divided into wards. A Shire Council 
consists of either six or nine Councillors presided over by 
a president. A Municipal Council consists of from six 
to twelve aldermen, presided over by a mayor. Council- 
lors are elected every three years. Women are eligible 
for office and also vote. The local authorities are author- 
ised to construct and maintain roads and streets j to pro- 


vide water supply and sewerage or sanitary system 5 to 
enforce the public health acts; to carry out town improve- 
ment schemes; to regulate the erection of buildings; to 
provide and maintain public reserves, parks, baths, 
libraries, hospitals, etc.; to manufacture and supply gas, 
electricity, or hydraulic power; to provide telephone ser- 
vices for outlying districts; to acquire and preserve places 
of historic interest or scenic attraction; to control the 
plucking of wild flowers; to keep rivers and watercourses 
free from obstruction; to impound straying animals; to 
regulate cremations and burials and provide cemeteries 
and crematoria; to establish public markets, weighbridges, 
wharves, abattoirs, sheep-dips, inland watering-places for 
travelling stock, etc.; to regulate the sale of fish and meat; 
to license vehicles, to build light lines of railways, and 
tramways and maintain ferries; to build and sell houses 
for working-men; to provide and manage employment 
registries; to compel the destruction of noxious weeds. 

All lands, except public parks, the sites of charitable 
institutions, unoccupied Crown lands, and similar areas, 
are rateable. The Councils may raise loans and are en- 
titled to participate in Government grants for specific 

The Act is administered by the Local Government 
Department, and if a Local Government area defaults the 
Governor is empowered to appoint an Administrator for 
such area. The Department advises and assists the Local 
Government bodies and makes available to the Councils 
its expert engineering staff, advises them on town-plan- 
ning, and collects and collates information of value to 

In 1927, as a result of the disrepute into which the 
government of the City of Sydney had fallen, Parliament 
passed an Act for the abolition of the City Council, placing 
the Government of the city under a Commission of three 
members. This is the second time the city of Sydney 


has been under such control. The Commission is to act 
for a term of two years, ending in 1929, but the Govern- 
ment has power to continue it if, in its opinion, the work 
for which the Commission was appointed has not been 
fully accomplished. One of the Commissioners was to be 
Chief Commissioner and exercise the duties of Lord 
Mayor. The Commissioners were given power to in- 
vestigate the previous aldermanic administrations and to 
take such action on the reports of the investigations as they 
thought necessary. Several prosecutions under that clause 
of the Appointments Act have taken place. 

The great expansion of the city and suburbs 
compelled the City Council some years ago to plan 
largely for the future. One of the chief problems 
dealt with was the supply of power and heat by elec- 
tricity. At Pyrrnont the Council has a fine modern 
power-plant, but, before 1925, it was working almost to 
capacity, and the Council realised that it would have to 
make extensive additions to provide for future and almost 
immediate requirements, especially in view of the fact 
that it was already purchasing electricity in large quan- 
tities from the Railway Commissioners. In 1 928 the elec- 
tricity so purchased amounted to 10,000 per month. 

The Council decided to build a power-plant of a 
size that would fulfil the requirements of the city and 
suburbs for many years in the future, at the estimated 
growth of population. Bunnerong was the site selected, 
and the plans and estimates prepared showed that the 
scheme would cost approximately 3,899,780. Up to 
November 28, 1927, the expenditure on the work 
amounted to 846,400. At the end of the year 1 928 the 
works at Bunnerong were reaching a stage when the first 
three units of steam-raising power and the first two units 
of electricity-generating plant could be brought into 
operation. On January 2, 1929, the Bunnerong Power- 
house was put into operation with one 25,000 kilowatt 


(about 33,000 electrical horse-power) turbo-alternator at 
work, another standing by ready for use. Two of the new 
boilers were at work, and a third was ready to take the 
place of either in case of a breakdown. By the winter of 
1929 there will be six turbo-alternators at work, fed by 
eighteen of the big modern boilers. Bunnerong Power- 
house is the largest in Australia and compares more than 
favourably with any power-house in the world. 

The total area of the State of New South Wales in- 
corporated at the end of 1926 was 184,110 square miles 
2520 square miles in municipal areas and 181,590 in 
shires. There were 181 municipalities with a total popu- 
lation of 1,637,600 persons j an unimproved capital value 
of 160,646,393, and an improved capital value of 
495,418,984. There were 136 shires, with a population 
of 684,400 and an unimproved capital value of 

The Main Roads Board of New South Wales was 
constituted under the Main Roads Act of 1924 and be- 
came operative on January 1, 1925, making provision for 
main roads, secondary roads, and developmental roads. 
At the time of the passing of the Act the Government 
initiated a new system of motor-car taxation, based on 
the weight of the vehicle and class of tyre used. The 
Main Roads Act provides that this taxation shall be set 
apart for main-roads purposes. In addition the Board 
is empowered to levy upon Municipal and Shire Councils 
in the county of Cumberland "requisitions" for contribu- 
tions not exceeding one halfpenny in the pound upon 
the "unimproved capital value" of all rateable lands in 
suburban municipalities and one farthing in the pound in 
the city of Sydney. The Board has no power to levy on 
country districts. The contributions made by these Coun- 
cils to the Main Roads Board are matters of negotiation 
and agreement on the pound for pound basis, although 
the Board has the power to require from Councils contri- 


butions for particular work. The Board has no power 
to raise loans, but the State Treasurer may borrow money 
and make it available to the Board. 

The revenue of the County of Cumberland section 
of the Main Roads Board work from January 1925 to 
June 30, 1926, was 900,405 5 the expenditure for that 
period was 703,615, for the year 1926-7 the revenue 
was 716,824 and the expenditure was 1,013,913, 
absorbing the large amount of money left over from the 
previous year. For the country main roads the Board 
received 1,522,761 and expended 862,565 for the six- 
teen months ending June 1926. For the year 1926-7 the 
income was 976,656 and the expenditure 1,235,857$ 
the difference being made up by the balance in hand from 
the first sixteen months' working. 

During the first sixteen months of the Board's exist- 
ence it received from the Commonwealth Government 
the sum of 138,000, on condition that the State or Coun- 
cils would contribute a similar amount for the purpose 
of developmental roads. This grant was not continued in 
the year 1926-7. 

Victoria. The Imperial Act of 1 850, in creating Victoria 
a colony, empowered the Governor to proclaim districts 
under the Imperial Act of 1 842 upon petition by the in- 
habitants, and to establish elective District Councils with 
power to make by-laws for constructing and maintaining 
roads and bridges, establishing schools, and levying local 
tolls and rates. The clause in the 1842 Act providing 
for the District Councils to provide half the upkeep of 
the police within the bounds of each district was deleted 
in the 1850 Act. 

In 1 853 was passed a Roads Act which provided for 
the creation of a Central Road Board for the care of main 
roads, and authorised the Governor to divide the colony 
into Road Districts within which local Boards, respon- 


sible for the parish roads and with power to levy rates, 
might be elected by resident property owners. This Act 
was repealed in 1863, when a Road Districts and Shires 
Act was passed. The Central Road Board was abolished 5 
any Road District having an area of not less than 100 
square miles and a revenue from general rates of not 
less than 1000 might be incorporated a shire, with 
powers additional to those of a District, including the 
right to raise loans and grant licences. An Act of 18)4 
had already provided that any district having an area of 
not more than nine square miles, no part of which was 
more than six miles distant from any other part, and hav- 
ing a population of not less than 300 persons, could be 
incorporated a municipal district. The principal clauses 
of this Act were consolidated with subsequent amend- 
ments in the Boroughs Statute Act of 1863. Further 
amendments in 1869 provided for the development of 
Boroughs into "towns" and "cities" as their revenue in- 
creased. The first boroughs to improve their status under 
this Act were Prahran, which became a town, and Ballarat, 
which took the status of a city in 1870. The Shires Act 
was amended in 1869, when the one hundred square miles 
minimum was abolished and provision made for the amal- 
gamation of small shires with boroughs. 

The Local Government Act of 1 874 consolidated the 
provisions of the Shires and Boroughs Acts and was itself 
consolidated by the Local Government Act of 1890. 

Melbourne was proclaimed a city by letters patent 
on June 25, 1847. The city is now divided into eight 
wards, each represented by one alderman and three coun- 
cillors. The Lord Mayor is elected annually by the alder- 
men and councillors from among their number and the 
councillors, who are elected for three years, choose alder- 
men, who are elected for six years. Two assessors for each 
ward and two auditors for the city, are elected annually* 
The franchise may be exercised by adults occupying any 


house or shop of an annual value of 10, and by resident 
householders in the city or within seven miles of it. Plural 
voting is allowed. Geelong, incorporated a town in 1 849, 
was proclaimed a city in 1910, the Acts governing Mel- 
bourne being made applicable to it. 

In 1899 the Victorian Government appointed a 
Select Committee to inquire into the Local Government 
system then in operation. Shortly after the Committee 
was appointed its powers were enlarged to those of a 
Royal Commission. This issued its report in 1902, at- 
taching a draft bill which became in 1903 the Local 
Government Act, consolidated with amendments in 1915. 
Under this Act provision was made for the continuance 
of municipalities already created, and the creation of new 
ones. Any part of the State returning a sum of 1500 
at a rate of hot more than one shilling in the pound could 
be constituted a shire on the petition of at least fifty in- 
habitants. Boroughs were to be areas not exceeding nine 
square miles, with no point distant more than six miles 
from any other and with 500 or more resident house- 
holders and an income of 300 at the rate of not more 
than one shilling in the pound on the annual value. Any 
area not exceeding three square miles, distant more than 
ten miles from the city of Melbourne, might be pro- 
claimed a township on the petition of not less than twenty- 
five ratepayers. Any male adult holding property of the 
rateable value of 20 might become a councillor. The 
councillors elect their own chairman, who, in cities, towns, 
and boroughs, is styled "Mayor," and in shires "Presi- 
dent." The franchise was on a property basis of 5 and 
over, provided that owner and occupier were not enfran- 
chised for the same property. Corporations liable to be 
rated might enroll in their name not more than three 
persons. Joint occupiers and owners, not exceeding three, 
were entitled to enrolment. Plural voting was allowed 
on a fixed scale. All land, including buildings and im- 


provements thereon, with certain exceptions, was rate- 
able at net annual value. A council might, with the con- 
sent of the ratepayers, rate on the unimproved capital 
value, adopting the valuation made under the Land Tax 
Act of 1915. The Government endowed the shires and 
boroughs on the annual amount of general and extra 
rates received, but gave no endowment to cities or towns. 

No alteration has been made in the Victorian Local 
Government laws since 1915. In 1925 the Government 
endowment amounted to 50,000, and an extra sum of 
63,771 was paid as the equivalent of licence fees, etc., 
incurred under the Licensing Act of 1915. The whole 
State, with the exception of French Island, is now subject 
to the provisions of the Local Government Act, though 
the cities of Melbourne and Geelong, incorporated under 
separate and earlier Acts, are subject to it in only a few 
details. In 1926 there were 55 towns, cities, and boroughs 
and 139 shires incorporated in Victoria. 

In 1918 the Victorian Government passed an Act 
for the erection of a Power-house on the Morwell 
(since named the Yallourn) brown-coal fields, to serve 
Melbourne and other districts with electrical power and 
light. Plans were prepared for a preliminary power- 
station of 50,000 kilowatts, to supply energy pending the 
construction of the main station. Twelve boilers supply 
steam to five turbines of the Metro-Vickers type, each of 
12,500 kilowatts. The generated electricity passes from 
the turbines at 1 1,000 volts and is increased for transmis- 
sion to Yarraville the main metropolitan distributing 
station to 132,000 volts. The daily generation amounts 
to 400,000 units. In 1924 Yarraville distributed to Mel- 
bourne 58,147,655 kilowatt-hours. 

Queensland. Under the Municipal Institutions Act of 
1864 the Governor of Queensland was empowered to in- 
corporate as a municipality any city, town, or rural district 


with a population of 250 or more, on the petition of not 
less than one hundred resident householders. The councils 
were given powers for the construction and maintenance 
of roads, bridges, ferries, cemeteries, baths, water-supply, 
lighting and sewerage, and the prevention of the erection 
of easily inflammable buildings in the "first-class divi- 
sions." The Provincial Councils Act of 1864 gave the 
Governor power, on petition, to proclaim any portion of 
the colony a province and to appoint a council of not less 
than three or more than nine members. Only one council 
was constituted under the provisions of the above Act, and 
it soon ceased to function. During the 1 870's certain Road 
Trusts were established, mainly to eflFect minor improve- 

A Local Government Act of 1 878 made provision for 
the compulsory incorporation of municipalities and for the 
division of rural areas into shires of the Victorian pat- 
tern. The shire system was found to be unsuitable for 
the needs of the sparsely populated colony, and in 1879 
a Divisional Boards Act authorised the Governor to con- 
stitute any portion of the colony, outside existing munici- 
palities, a Division, with a Board of three to nine mem- 
bers. Postal voting was provided for. 

Under the Divisional Boards Act about 660,000 
square miles of the colony were divided into 74- Districts, 
some very extensive and sparsely populated. The Boards 
were subsidised by the Government to the amount of 
one shilling in the pound on the annual value, with an 
endowment for the first five years of 2 for each pound 
of rates collected, and thereafter pound for pound. The 
Act remained in force until 1902. 

In 1902 a Local Authorities Act was passed to re- 
place the Divisional; Boards Act of 1879, This Act, with 
amendments, now constitutes the principal Act. Under it 
the whole State is incorporated into cities, towns, and 
shires. All municipalities formerly constituted as boroughs 


are towns. All shires and divisions are shires. An amend- 
ment to this Act provides for a Main Roads Board for 
the building and maintaining of main roads and bridges. 
This Board has a separate organization and has its funds 
voted yearly by Parliament, though the municipalities 
contribute part of the money, repayable over a long period 
of years. All minor roads and bridges are under the 
control of the municipalities. Another government de- 
partment exercises wide powers over natural watercourses, 
under a Water Supply and Irrigation Act. 

Apart from Brisbane, ten dries have been consti- 
tuted in Queensland Bundaberg, Cairns, Charters 
Towers, Gympie, Ipswich, Mackay, Maryborough, Rock- 
hampton, Toowoomba, and Townsville. Each munici- 
pality makes its own valuations, and there is little unifor- 
mity. Theoretically the municipalities have unfettered 
discretion, but in practice they are subject to limitations. 

The power to alter boundaries lies with the Governor- 
in-Council. Members are elected for three years, one- 
third retiring annually. All adults whose names are on 
the parliamentary roll are eligible to vote. All lands, 
except those belonging to the Crown, or used for religious 
or charitable purposes, are rateable on the unimproved 
capital value. Rating is generally limited to one shilling 
in the pound, but special rates may be levied for cleansing, 
lighting, water, and tramway purposes. In a few in- 
stances Councils may raise their own loans, but they have 
usually raised them through the State Treasury. 

The City of Brisbane Act was passed in October 
1924, creating one municipal area of 384 square miles 
or, roughly, the area within a ten-miles radius from the 
Brisbane General Post Office. The city embraces the 
cities of Brisbane and South Brisbane; the towns of Ham- 
ilton, Ithaca, Toowong, Windsor, Sandgate, and Wynnum, 
and ten suburban shires. The first Council of the new 


city was elected on March 21, 1925, but did not function 
until the October of that year. 

The Council is invested with complete legislative and 
administrative control of every local-government activity 
within the area. Several of these were taken over auto- 
matically when the Council operated in October 1925j 
some of them were subsequently absorbed. One of the 
most important results of the centralized Council was 
the unification of Health Control, which had previously 
been divided between twenty local authorities. Another 
important department, which previously had been com- 
pletely neglected, is town-planning. The Council consists 
of twenty aldermen, one for each of the twenty wards, 
and a mayor, who is elected by the voters, the franchise 
being the parliamentary roll. Triennial elections are held 
for the whole Council. The valuations for 1926, on the 
unimproved land basis, were more than 20,000,000 
roughly an increase of 4,000,000 on the previous in- 
adequate assessments in some of the shires. The whole 
area, except such parts as are used for dairying and agri- 
culture, carries a uniform rate. 

In 1926 there were 28 cities and towns and 124 
shires in Queensland. The former have a total area of 843 
square, miles and the latter an area of 669,05 1 square 
miles. The total population of municipalities and 
shires at the end of 1926 was 879,419. The rateable 
value of the cities and towns was 29,952,796, and of 
shires 48,473,508. 

South Australia. A system of Main Roads Boards was 
established in South Australia in 1 849. They proved un- 
satisfactory, and in 1887 they were abolished and their 
powers vested in Corporations and Councils. In 1 849 a 
Municipal Corporations Ordinance empowered the Gov- 
ernor to incorporate, on petition of two-thirds of the resi- 
dent householders, any town, village, or hamlet, with 


certain exceptions. This Ordinance was repealed in 1861 
by the passing of the Municipal Corporations Act, which 
provided for the Governor to proclaim any place a muni- 
cipality on petition. Municipal corporations were author- 
ised to maintain streets, common sewers, and water-works 5 
to levy water-rates 5 to control public slaughter-houses and 
markets and organize fire-brigades. A Consolidating Act 
of 1880 was, in turn, consolidated by the Municipal Cor- 
porations Act of 1890. Under this Act the Governor 
may constitute new municipalities, or alter the boundaries 
of those existing, on petition of two-fifths of the rate- 
payers or owners of rateable property. He may, also 
on petition, alter the number of wards in a municipality. 

The District Councils Act of 1852 empowered the 
Governor to constitute districts. All occupiers, owners, 
and tenants were qualified to vote for a council of five 
members, who had control of the roads of the district 
and could license pounds, slaughter-houses, and issue de- 
pasturing and timber licences. They could also nominate 
constables each yean The District Councils Act of 1858 
consolidated previous Acts. A new Act in 1887 abolished 
plural voting, and under it Drainage Boards were merged 
with Councils, which were also invested with powers pre- 
viously exercised by Main Roads Boards. 

The City of Adelaide was first incorporated in 1 840, 
under a special Ordinance, but the Council was abolished 
in 1843. From that date to 1849 the city was managed 
as a Government Department and then, until 1852, by 
City Commissioners. In 1 852 a Council was again elected. 
Since the Municipal Corporations Act of 1881 Adelaide 
has been subject to the Acts relating generally to muni- 
cipal corporations. Some years later the municipal fran- 
chise was thrown open to women, as was also the qualifi- 
cation to act as alderman or councillor by an Act of 1914. 

In 1917 the Government established a Local Gov- 
ernment Department to maintain closer relations between 


the Government and the Councils. The Department has 
the administration of the Grants-in-Aidj it advises on 
road construction, and co-ordinates generally the road- 
work of the Department with that of the Local Authori- 
ties. In practice it has no control over the loans raised 
by the local authorities, but the Minister has power to 
withhold the subsidies payable to the local authorities if 
in his opinion the councils fail to carry out the duties im- 
posed by the Act of Parliament. 

In South Australia there is no central control of 
local officers, except officers of Health, who are under 
the administration of the Board of Health. All work 
carried out by the aid of Government grants is subject 
to inspection by officers of the central department. Dis- 
trict Council accounts are kept under the supervision and 
audit of the Auditor-General 3 the by-laws have to obtain 
the Governor's approval. In spite of the wide powers 
given to it, the Central Department has more of an ad- 
visory than a controlling authority. 

With the establishment of the Local Government 
Department in 1917, no further amendments of the Local 
Government Acts took place in South Australia. In 1925 
there were 39 corporations and 1 55 district councils; the 
corporations covered 64,080 acres, with a population of 
238,009 and a capital value of 65,550,732, and the dis- 
trict councils 31,023,175 acres, with a population of 
294,749 and a capital value of 85,608,532. The assess- 
ment value of the corporations was 3,300,048, and that 
of the district councils 4,280,375. 

Western Australia. Perth, the capital city of Western 
Australia, was made a city in 1851, and in 1871 a Muni- 
cipal Institutions Act substituted municipal councils for 
town trusts. This Act was repealed, except in regard to 
the city of Perth, by the Municipal Institutions Act of 
1 895, which was also repealed by the Municipal Corpora- 
tions Act of 1906. 


Until 1886 provisions relating to health and sani- 
tary arrangements were included in the Municipal Acts. 
In that year a Health Act was passed, authorising the 
appointment of a central Board of Health and of local 
Boards in the municipalities. The expenses of the Central 
Board of Health were met by the Government, and those 
of the local boards by a Health Rate levied by municipal 

The Municipal Corporations Act came into force in 
1906. Under it the Governor is authorised to incorporate 
any portion of the State having rateable property yielding 
750 on an annual rate. He is also empowered to recon- 
stitute municipalities. Councils consist of a mayor and 
from six to twelve councillors, according to population. 
Every British male adult ratepayer, with certain excep- 
tions, is eligible for election as Mayor or councillor. The 
franchise is of British male adult ratepayers. All land, 
with certain exceptions, is rateable on the annual value, 
the annual value of occupied land being the average rent 
obtainable, less 20 per cent for outgoings. The Councils 
have specified borrowing powers and can claim to share 
in the annual parliamentary grant, provided that they are 
levying a minimum general rate of one shilling in the 
pound and that they collect therefrom not less than 300. 
Newly constituted municipalities, during the first year of 
their existence, are allowed a subsidy of 2 for every 1 
of the produce of the general rate. 

A consolidating Health Act was passed in 1911, sub- 
stituting the Commissioner for Public Health for the 
Central Board then in existence. It is provided that, 
where a Health District was conterminous with a Road 
District, the Road Board should be the Local Board of 
Health. Boards of Health may therefore be constituted 
by municipal councils or Road Boards, or may be separ- 
ately established. 

In 1926 there were in the State 21 municipalities, 


covering an area of 58,981 acres, with a population of 
177,591, and property of a capital value of 36,882,613, 
and of the annual value of 2,099,513. The Road Dis- 
trict Act of 1919 empowered the Governor to establish 
a Road District Board in any part of the State not in- 
cluded in a municipality. These Boards consist of from 
five to thirteen members! and, in addition to special func- 
tions relating to roads and bridges, are invested with most 
of the powers enjoyed by Municipal Councils. Their 
revenue is derived from rents, fees, fines, and from gen- 
eral local and loan rates. The rating is on the unimproved 
capital value, or, in towns, on the annual value. In 1926 
there were 1 24 Road Districts, covering an area of 975,828 
square miles. In the same year there were 124 Local 
Boards of Health in the State. Local authorities con- 
tribute to the expenses of the fire-brigade service and are 
represented on the central board. 

Tasmania. Under the Tasmanian Rural Municipalities 
Act of 1858 any town could be proclaimed by the Gover- 
nor on petition of at least fifty qualified persons. The 
control of such municipalities was vested in a Council of 
six members elected by male adults with not less than 1 5 
property qualification. The functions of the Councils 
covered the care of the public roads and streets, control of 
the police, water-supply, the licensing of butchers, the 
registration of dogs, the administration of common 
lodging-houses and impounding Acts. Councils could 
levy rates, and the Government granted them subsidies. 
A Town Boards Act was passed in 1 8 84. This em- 
powered the Governor to proclaim towns, but did not 
apply to any town situated within the boundaries of a 
rural municipality. Provision was made for the elec- 
tion of Town Boards, which had the administration of 
the Police Act of 1865 with respect to the health and 
improvement of the towns. The Boards were authorized 


to levy rates, and later Amending Acts invested them with 
additional powers. All separate districts, together with 
rural municipalities and Town Boards, were abolished by 
the Local Government Act of 1906. 

The Local Government Act of 1906 appointed a 
Commission to divide the State into not more than sixty 
districts and to sub-divide each district into not less than 
three nor more than five wards. The cities of Hobart 
and Launceston were exempted from the provisions of 
the Act. 

Forty-nine districts were established by the Com- 
mission, but the number has not remained constant. Under 
the Act the Governor may incorporate municipalities, alter 
boundaries, etc. There are three councillors elected for 
each ward, and the Warden is elected by the Councillors 
from among their number. Every male resident, or 
every male having a place of business within the muni- 
cipality, is eligible for election as councillor. Local fran- 
chise may be exercised by every male adult, natural-born 
or naturalized, who is a ratepayer, or by a corporation or 
joint-stock company whose name appears on the assess- 
ment roll. Plural voting is allowed. A Council may 
define a Local District and assign to it a Special Standing 
Committee with functions vested in it by the Council. 
The Councils have very wide powers and may, by permis- 
sion of the Governor, unite for the construction of certain 
works. General and special rates are levied on the annual 
value of property. The Councils have limited borrowing 
powers and are entitled to Government subsidies. 

The Local Government Act is administered by the 
Minister for Lands and Works, who has power to settle 
all disputes. Local by-laws must be approved by the 
Attorney-General. Municipal accounts are subject to 
Government audit. The Governor-in-Council has power 
to regulate elections, to repeal by-laws, to receive and dis- 
pose of petitions, etc. 


In 1926 Tasmania had forty-nine municipalities. 
They were represented on the Fire Brigade Boards and 
contributed towards the expenses, being authorized to levy 
a special rate for the purpose if the municipal funds are 
unable to meet the charge. 


THE work on Sydney Harbour Bridge, connecting North 
Sydney and the wide-flung northern suburbs with the 
City of Sydney was far advanced at the beginning of 
the year 1929. Both pylons were up to road height, with 
the approaches in a very advanced stage. Already suffi- 
cient of the ironwork of the huge span is in place to give 
a fair idea of the immensity of the undertaking. 

The roadway from Broughton Street to Macdougall 
Street has been formed and, when metalled, will be 
opened for traffic. On the city side the tunnels have been 
completed. In December 1928 Parliament passed an 
allotment of 1,522,200 for the 1929 expenditure. The 
total cost of the bridge to date is 3,348,908, and a fur- 
ther amount of 2,751,092 is required to complete the 


AT the beginning of the year 1877 sixteen Insurance 
Companies in New South Wales had at risk the sum of 
13,198,000. These companies contributed to the Fire 
Brigade Fund a total sum of 1963. Fourteen other 
Companies dealing in Fire Insurance did not contribute. 

In 1877 the Fire Brigade had a staff of 27 members 
stationed at ten brigade centres and working under almost 
independent Superintendents. During the year the Bri- 
gade answered 316 calls, of which 21 were false alarms. 
The plant consisted of three steam-engines, four manual 
engines, and two hand hose reels. Fire-fighting continued 
in this form up to the year 1884, when the Government 


passed the Fire Brigades Act, constituting the Fire Bri- 
gades Board to take over the Brigades of the Sydney Fire 

Before the establishment of the Fire Brigades Board 
the revenue of the fire-fighters was derived mainly from 
contributions from certain Insurance Companies. In the 
year 1880 the number of contributing Companies had 
grown to forty-six. Under the new Act the Board was 
supported by revenue derived from the Government, the 
Fire Insurance Companies insuring property within the 
metropolitan district, the municipal councils of the city 
of Sydney and of several other municipalities within a 
defined area. At the inception of the new Act the staff 
numbered thirty-seven. In the Metropolitan District 
there were sixteen registered brigades and eleven unre- 
gistered brigades, five of which were disbanded during 
that year. 

In 1909 the Government, under the Fire Brigades 
Act, extended organised fire-fighting from the metropoli- 
tan area to the whole of the State. The Board was 
superseded by a Board of Fire Commissioners of which 
Charles Bown was Chairman. In that year there were 
21 stations in the metropolitan area, manned by 202 per- 
manent men, and 3 1 stations manned by volunteers. The 
equipment at that date totalled three motor engines, one 
large electric ladder, two large horse-drawn ladders, six- 
teen steam fire-engines, thirty manual engines, thirteen 
hose reels and 137 horses. The first motor appliance used 
in Sydney was a chemical hose carriage manufactured by 
Merryweather & Sons, installed at Headquarters Fire 
Station on December 1, 1904. The first petrol-driven 
fire-engine, manufactured by the same company, was in- 
stalled on September 7, 1905. In 1909 Mr Webb was 
appointed Chief Officer of the Fire Brigades. The first 
estimate of expenditure under the Fire Brigades' Act of 
1909 was for the year 1910 and totalled 84,507, the 


Government, the Insurance Companies, and the Munici- 
palities contributing in equal proportions. 

Chief Officer Webb died in 1913 and Deputy Chief 
Officer N. G. Sparks was appointed Chief Officer of Fire 
Brigades. In 1921 Sparks retired and Deputy Chief 
Officer F. Jackson was appointed in his place. 

The estimate of expenditure for the year 1927 was 
325,104 and, under the Fire Brigades Amendment Act 
of 1927, was payable as to one-fourth by the Govern- 
ment, one-fourth by the municipalities, and one-half by 
the Insurance Companies. This estimate covered Sydney 
and the country districts. 

In 1927 there were 75 Brigades in the metropolitan 
area, manned by 419 permanent firemen and 152 par- 
tially-paid firemen. They were equipped with 72 motor 
fire appliances and four large ladders. In the country 
districts there were 117 Brigades, manned by 56 perman- 
ent firemen and 1097 partially-paid firemen. They were 
equipped with 66 motor fire appliances and one large 
ladder, 21 horse-drawn turbine engines, fourteen manual 
fire engines and 99 hose reels. 


THE discovery of gold in Australia effected a revo- 
lution in all industrial relations. Many immigrants who 
arrived during the gold rush having failed, for one reason 
or another, to gain wealth on the goldfields, settled to the 
trades and occupations which they had followed in the 
land from which they had come. In later days the de- 
pletion of the alluvial deposits drove many diggers back 
to their former trades, and the population, tending to 
accumulate in the larger cities and towns, formed artisan 

Construction of the first railways (1854) and the 


establishment of regular steamship communication with 
Europe (1856) helped to encourage industrial activity. 
New South Wales and Victoria (the latter of which re- 
ceived responsible government in 1855) turned their at- 
tention to the development of their agricultural lands, 
and the consequent farming population increased produc- 
tion and developed manufactures. 

It is estimated that for the period 1851-58 the excess 
of arrivals over departures in Australia totalled 450,000, 
and if, at a moderate estimate, each migrant brought 25 
into the country, the extra capital available must have 
amounted to over 11,250,000. The goldfields needed 
food and other supplies close at hand, and that need re- 
sulted in closer settlement, which especially in New 
South Wales displaced a number of squatters, forcing 
them to seek fresh pastures farther afield. Town life 
became more attractive, and the population showed a 
marked tendency to congregate in the larger cities. 
Through its proximity to the richest goldfields and the 
wonderful expansion of trade caused by them, Melbourne 
manufactures and importations soon passed those of other 
Australian cities. In 1 858 the trade of Victoria was about 
double that of New South Wales. 

An important effect of the gold-boom was a quick 
rise in wages and the establishment of a higher standard 
of living among the wage-earning classes. The scarcity 
of labour gave opportunity to raise wages, and the sudden 
and often ostentatious prosperity of lucky miners aroused 
in the breast of the artisan classes from which many of 
the successful miners had risen a desire to strive for 
a betterment of their own living conditions. 

The years 1859-72 showed a downward tendency in 
wages and the cost of living. Trade was steady. In 1 862 
exports amounted to 12,065,000, and the value of the 
oversea trade was 32 11s. 6d. per head of population. 
Assisted immigration, the expansion of railways, and the 


adoption of a protective fiscal policy by Victoria, tended 
to make the country more self-supporting. Yet amid 
this definite period of prosperity there was an era of finan- 
cial stringency. New South Wales was paying, at one 
time, 7^ per cent on debentures. In 1872 Australian 
exports were valued at 22,578,000 an increase of 54 
per cent in fourteen years, as against one of 440 per cent 
during the eight years of the goldfields 5 rushes. 

From the year 1 872 there was a sharp decline in gold 
production from 7,500,000 in 1872 to 4,500,000 in 
1886. Immigration fell away, and land settlement was 
very slow. Yet in the years 1872-93 Victoria and South 
Australia increased their cultivated areas from 2,500,000 
acres to 5,500,000 acres. Prices of pastoral products fell 
nearly fifty per cent. Against that large drop which 
affected New South Wales more particularly, as a largely 
pastoral country the colony benefited by a great increase 
in the silver output from Broken Hill, the copper output 
from Cobar, and the increased coal output. Victoria also 
extended her manufacturing plants until in 1 889 her fac- 
tories employed some 57,400 persons. These and other 
influences tended to steady trade figures, and, though with 
remarkable fluctuations, the value of oversea trade fell 
from 24 per head of population in 1872 to a little over 
19 in 1892. 

During the 1870 ? s and 1880 J s private capital from 
abroad entered Australia in large quantities, encouraging 
unlimited speculation. The colonial governments, instead 
of restricting expenditure, borrowed largely, and helped 
to circulate an artificial prosperity. A small reaction began 
in 1886 with an all-round decline in export prices, wher- 
ever world-prices influenced the markets. A reduction in 
wages followed, producing strikes in many industries, 
more particularly among the coalminers of New South 
Wales* In consequence there was a marked decrease in 
*he influx of private capital, compelling a restriction in 


Government expenditure and unemployment increased. 
During this reaction the financial institutions began to 
call in advances, made in many cases, and to a far too 
large extent, against land. In an attempt to stem the tide 
the New South Wales Government passed an Act "to give 
preferential lien on wool from season to season, and to 
make mortgages on sheep, cattle, and horses valid, with- 
out delivery to the mortgagee." 

This Act appeared far too revolutionary to the minds 
of the Colonial Authorities in London, who had but a very 
small conception of even ordinary conditions in Australia. 
Their financial advisers and their commercial law authori- 
ties viewed the Act with much disfavour. In consequence 
the Colonial Office vetoed the Act, not once, but each of 
the several times it was re-submitted. However, the in- 
sistence of the men in Australia who knew the measures 
that would restore trade and commerce to normal at 
length prevailed and the Imperial Authorities' consent 
was given to the measure. Credit was almost immediately 
re-established. The squatter, with good security to offer, 
could turn part of the only wealth he possessed into money 
by pledging the whole, and thus carry on his business. 
However much it might perturb overseas jurists, it soon 
became possible to learn of cases in Australia where a 
grazier had borrowed money from one source on the 
security of his sheep, and from another on the pledge of 
his wool while yet on the sheep's back. The pyramid was 
completed when a borrower, if possessed of the freehold 
of his lands, borrowed money on it from yet another 

The effect of this Act was to enhance the value of 
the Crown leases, and provision was made to enable mort- 
gages to be given over them, while a registered lien on 
a growing crop was legalised for the benefit of the farmer, 
whether freeholder or tenant. It is probable that Australia 
is the pioneer of a system giving effective security over 


chattels that remain in the actual possession of the bor- 

The financial crisis through which the Australian 
colonies passed during the years 1 891-93 had a steadying 
effect on the influx of private capital into the Australian 
trade. During those years there was a consistent decrease 
in oversea trade. About the latter year the Governments 
restricted their borrowings and expenditure, and unem- 
ployment increased. The period of recovery was long 
and painful, the depression being prolonged by the low 
world-prices obtaining during that period. 

The vast effect of the crisis on trade may be gathered 
from the fact that the value of oversea trade fell in 1 894 
below 16 per head of population the lowest amount 
recorded since 1851. In 1893 the value of the oversea 
trade (both ways) was 57,000,000, an increase of nearly 
38 per cent on the figures for 1872. But the population 
had in the same period increased by over 90 per cent. 

The crisis of 1891-93 brought some good with it. It 
restricted, if only temporarily, the borrowings of the 
colonial governments. It reduced imports, so that the 
percentage of exports to imports, which in 1890 had been 
83.4, rose in 1895 to 145. It imposed reasonable limits 
on trade credit, which had been granted far too freely 
before the crisis. It checked speculation, and ensured a 
re-valuation of land more nearly approximating its actual 
earning powers. Wages fell; but so did rents and prices. 
Individuals were ruined; but the community found itself 
in a healthier condition. Further, the restrictions on 
Government borrowings and general expenditure turned 
the flow of labour from the cities back to the farms and 
stations. Recovery from the crisis was quickened by a 
revival of mining, culminating in the vast gold dis- 
coveries of 1894-95 in Western Australia. The value 
of exports increased, with slight fluctuations, from 
32,000,000 in 1894 to 79,000,000 in 1913. 


Exports from Australia continued to rise steadily 
after 1899, being in 1906-7 more than 50 per cent 
higher than imports. The total oversea trade increased 
to 158,000,000, the value per head of population rising 
from below 1 6 to over 33 during the same period. 

Federation placed in the Government's hands great 
powers over the country's trade. Customs and excise were 
handed over by the States and a uniform tariff instituted. 
Under the Constitution Act the Federal Government has 
power to make laws in respect of trade and commerce with 
other countries and among the States; also to determine 
bounties on production or export of goods and to control 
foreign trading or financial corporations formed within 
the Commonwealth. 

In 1899, Messrs Ismay, Imrie & Co., representing 
the White Star Line, disposed of their sailing vessels and 
contracted with Harland & Wolff, of Belfast, for five 
steamers for the Australian trade. The first of these, the 
Medic (11,984 tons, 550ft. long and with a cargo capa- 
city of 18,797 tons) reached Sydney on September 21, 
1 899, via the Cape of Good Hope. She called at Ade- 
laide and Melbourne and was forty-nine days on the 
voyage. Since then a continuous service has been main- 
tained by this vessel and the Afric, Persic, Runic, Suevic 
and Ceramic. 

Until Federation the various banks in Australia, with 
the exception of those in Queensland, enjoyed the privi- 
lege of circulating their own bank-notes issuing them for 
sums as low as 1. In 1910 the Commonwealth Govern- 
ment began to issue its own notes and brought the banks 7 
privilege to an end by a tax of 1 per cent per annum on 
their circulation. For many years the banks had been 
paying a tax of two per cent per annum (three per cent 
in Queensland) to the various State Governments, and 
it is doubtful if they suffered any pecuniary loss by the 
Commonwealth Government's action. It deprived them, 


however, of facilities for supplying their numerous 
branches with till-money. 

A Commonwealth Act of 1910 authorised the Fed- 
eral Treasurer to issue bank-notes, holding against them 
a gold reserve of one-fourth of the total issue up to seven 
millions and pound for pound for any sum in excess of 
that amount. The rest of the money derived from the 
issue of the bank-notes he might invest on deposit in any 
bank, or in securities of the United Kingdom, the Com- 
monwealth, or any State. The Act provided for full con- 
vertibility of the bank-notes, and left to the demands of 
the public the amount to be circulated at any time. 

The Federation of the Australian States in 1901, 
which involved the transfer of the Post Offices to the 
Commonwealth Government, necessitated legislation re- 
garding the future control of the Post-Office Savings 
Banks in the States other than in Victoria, Queensland, 
and South Australia, where the Savings Banks were not 
under the departmental administration of the Post Office. 
In 1900 Acts were passed in New South Wales and West- 
ern Australia, and in 1901 in Tasmania, placing the Sav- 
ings Banks under the control of the respective State 

In 1906 a change was made in the administration 
of the Government Savings Bank of New South Wales. 
From January 1907 it was placed under a Board of three 
Commissioners, whose appointments were for life. An 
Advances Department was created for the benefit of the 
farmers and other primary producers. The liquidation of 
the advances made by the Advances to Settlers' Board (a 
relief Board created in 1899 to alleviate conditions aris- 
ing out of the severe drought) was included in the Com- 
missioners' duties. 

The Great War of 1914-18 materially affected the 
oversea trade of Australia, mainly through dislocation of 
shipping and increased freights. The direction of trade 


was also greatly altered, but in spite of the sudden rises 
in prices, due to war conditions, the recorded value of 
trade during the four years showed no appreciable ad- 

The average annual value of imports during the 
period 1914-1918 was only 71,223,000 as against 
70,129,000 for the four years preceding the outbreak 
of war. In the case of exports the average annual value 
dropped from 78,688,000 to 77,910,000. On a quan- 
titative basis, exports during the four years of the war 
were considerably lower than during the four years pre- 
ceding it 5 and that in spite of the fact that Great Britain 
and her allies made very large calls on Australia for food - 
stuffs, wool, metals, meat, and horses. The ability to 
supply these demands depended largely upon seasonal 
influences. Unfortunately the seasons during the period 
of war were not entirely favourable, the first year being 
a particularly dry one. 

Though every effort was made to increase produc- 
tion to meet the national emergency, the lack of labour, 
through enlistments, restricted output. Freight was diffi- 
cult to obtain, yet in spite of the many disabilities consider- 
able shipments were sent overseas. Special measures were 
adopted for the marketing of produce, wool, wheat, and 
metals, and these commodities were given preference in 
considering freights. 

Wool, during the first years of the war, was sold 
in London under an Imperial Marketing Scheme. Later 
an organisation the British-Australian Wool Realisation 
Association (popularly known as Bawra) was created to 
take over the control of wartime carry-over wool. The 
wheat crops were handled by compulsory pools, marketing 
under Government control 3 metals were sold under spe- 
cial wartime contracts. 

Imports dwindled, and manufacturers in Great Bri- 
tain and overseas colonies became absorbed in the pro- 


duction of war-munitions. Inward trade was compul- 
sorily curtailed because of the shipping shortage. 
Moreover, the demand within the Commonwealth was 
restricted because of the diversion of a part of the spend- 
ing power of the Community to War Loans. Over 
200,000,000 was raised in Australia for war-purposes. 

For the first year of the war internal dislocation was 
very pronounced. The oversea trade fell to 125,025,000 
the smallest figures for many years since 1909. Ex- 
ports at 60,593,000 were 18,000,000 below the figures 
for 191 3 5 Imports by the same comparison showed a 
falling off of over 15,000,000. During the second year 
of war, and after, there was some adjustment of trade to 
the new conditions. The years 1 9 1 5- 1 9 1 6 and 1 9 1 6- 1 9 1 7 
recorded expansion in values of both imports and exports, 
the total trade for the last year amounting to 
174,184,000. Much of the increase, however, must be 
attributed to deferred shipments and increased prices. 

The last year of the war provided trade with a most 
difficult problem. There was a very great shortage of 
shipping, due to the depredations of enemy submarines. 
To conserve space that year the Commonwealth Govern- 
ment prohibited, or restricted, imports that could be 
classed as luxuries. Thus the value of imports during 
that year, in spite of the continued increase of prices, fell 
by nearly 14,000,000 to 62,335,000. Partly because 
of the unfavourable season, exports during the same 
period decreased by about 16,500,000 to 81,429,000, 
the total trade for the last year of the war being only 
18,739,000 in excess of that for the first year not- 
withstanding the enormous increases in the prices during 
the four years. 

The Commonwealth Bank Act came into force on 
December 12, 1911. The establishment of a Common- 
wealth Bank had been a plank of the Labour Party's Plat- 
form from the inception of the Federal Parliament, 


Andrew Fisher, when Prime Minister and Treasurer of 
the Commonwealth, took with him to London in 1911 
his permanent financial advisers and arranged that they 
should discuss very thoroughly with the leading English 
and French banking authorities the scheme of "a Com- 
monwealth Bank of issue, deposit, exchange and reserve, 
with non-political management;" and the Bank, when 
eventually instituted, owed much to these discussions. 
The new bank was to be an ordinary bank of deposit 
the note issue having been disposed of by other methods. 
It was to be controlled by a Governor, to carry all the 
Commonwealth accounts, and to have attached to it a, 
Savings Bank operating through the Federal Post Offices. 

On June 1, 1912, Denison Miller took office as 
Governor of the Commonwealth Bank and immediately 
brought into existence the Savings Bank Department, the 
Victorian Branch being opened on July 15, 1912. By 
January 1913 Savings Bank Branches had been ex- 
tended throughout the Commonwealth. On January 20, 
1913, the Bank was formally opened for business at its 
Head Office in Sydney, with branches in the five capital 
cities, as well as at Townsville in Queensland, at Canberra 
the then future Federal Capital, and in London. It was 
opened without any capital but the credit of the Common- 
wealth a sum of 10,000 borrowed from the Common- 
wealth to meet initial expenses being repaid immediately 
the bank operated. 

A credit balance was shown on general business in 
1914 and on the Savings Bank business in 1917, During 
the war the Bank extended its activities to meet the new 
emergencies. All the general financial business of the 
Commonwealth was transacted through the Bank. It 
floated loans to the aggregate of 257,719,989; financed 
the pools for the marketing of primary produce; supplied 
the funds for the purchase of fifteen cargo-steamers by 
the Federal Government; and arranged for secret ship- 


ments of gold from Australia on behalf of the Bank of 
England. After April 1916 it was responsible for all 
the banking business carried on in the occupied German 
territory of New Guinea. 

Following the war there came a great expansion of 
trade. Shipping facilities improved with the large car- 
goes offered, and values of imports and exports increased 
markedly. The total trade for 1918-19 was valued at 
2165299 3 000, an advance on the previous year of fifty 
per cent. Imports went from 62,335,000 to 
102,335,000, and exports from 81,429,000 to 
113,946,000. The following year the total trade ad- 
vanced to 248,798,000. Imports declined, but exports 
rose to the very high figure of 149,824,000, or 28/4/1 1 
per head of population a record up to that time. 

The trade boom reached its height in 1920-1. Im- 
ports reached 163,802,000, far in excess of those of any 
previous year. This advance was principally due to the 
despatch to Australia of orders which overseas manufac- 
turers had been unable to execute earlier. 

For the first time in the century, 1920-21 saw an 
unfavourable balance of trade, the percentage of exports 
to imports falling to 80.7. This caused a check in the 
next year's imports and a reduction of 37 per cent, ac- 
companied by a contraction of only 3.2 per cent in exports j 
and the percentage of exports on imports rose to 1 24 on a 
total overseas trade of 230,913,000. Thenceforward 
trade assumed a more stable basis. The total for 1924-5 
established a new record at 319,173,000, or 54/6/10 
per head of population. Exports went very high, reaching 
162,030,000. The high average price of wool and a 
big wheat harvest at good prices made the export year one 
of the most noteworthy, despite the fact that the imports 
were swelled by the import of gold to the value of 
10,000,000. Exports of wool and wheat accounted for 


Annual reports of shipping in New South Wales are 
made from July to June. During the twelve months end- 
ing June 30, 1928, the arrivals at the port of Sydney 
were less than in previous years, but the tonnage was 
larger and the totals vary little. In 1926, 7652 ships 
of 14,961,630 tons entered, compared with 8366 ships 
of 16,526,798 tons in 1927. In 1928, 7800 ships en- 
tered Port Jackson, of a total tonnage of 15,808,966. It 
is estimated that from July 1928 to June 1929 about 
9000 vessels will have entered, their gross tonnage aggre- 
gating 17,000,000. 

During December 1928, the Water Board issued 
statistics showing that 11,878 buildings were erected in 
the Sydney area during the past twelve months, at a 
total cost of 16,100,000. In 1927, 1,873,000 less was 
spent, on 10,855 buildings. The report notes that during 
the last fifteen years this expansion has been maintained. 

In 1928 the actual number of new companies regis- 
tered fell slightly short of that of the previous year, but 
the total capital involved in 1928 was 39,000,000 against 
29,998,000 in 1927. 

To extend and improve the use of concrete the Aus- 
tralian Cement Manufacturers' Association was formed 
during 1928. Ten competing cement companies, with 
plants in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tas- 
mania, and South Australia, co-operated in supporting the 
organisation, representing 7,000,000 capital. The Head 
Office is in Sydney, and a Branch Office at Melbourne. 
The Association does not sell, but is established to advance 
the wider and more economical use of cement. A labora- 
tory is to be established for research in concrete, in order 
to assist in the economical development of natural re- 
sources in sands, gravel, and stone for concrete making. 

During the year ending June 30, 1928, more than 
61,000 workers were injured a total of 11,000 more 
than in the previous year. Under the Workers' Compen- 


sation Act, 2,000,000 was involved in compensating 
them. All but 1.45 per cent of the claims were settled 
by agreement. For the twelve months the premium in- 
comes of the Insurance Companies were 1,746,934, but 
the disproportion between the income and the compensa- 
tion paid is more apparent than real. Apart from the 
employers who insured, there are employers representing 
an annual wage-roll of 30,000,000 who undertook their 
own compensation insurance. The cost of the Commis- 
sion during the year was 22,177, or 6500 more than 
in the year 1927. 

During the past fifty years the Banks and Insurance 
Companies of Australia have kept pace with the develop- 
ment of the Commonwealth in population and industry. 
In many instances the progress recorded has been remark- 

The Bank of New South Wales has, in the fifty 
years, increased its paid-up capital from 1,000,000 to 
7,500,000 5 its reserve fund from 450,000 to 
5,900,000j and its total assets to 88,982,585. In 1878 
it had branches and agencies in New South Wales, Vic- 
toria, South Australia, Queensland, New Zealand, and 
London, numbering 150 5 now its ramifications extend 
through all the Australian States, London, New Zealand, 
Fiji, Papua, and the Mandated Territory of New Guinea, 
and its branches and agencies have increased to 535. In 

1927 it acquired The Western Australian Bank and has 
now 100 branches and agencies in Western Australia. 

The Commercial Banking Company of Sydney 
Limited had, in 1878, a paid-up capital of 500,000 and 
a reserve fund of 475,000. The paid-up capital in 

1928 was 4,739,012, the reserve fund exceeded 
4,000,000, and the assets totalled 63,154,170. 

The Bank of Australasia had, fifty years ago, a 
capital of 1,200,000 and a reserve fund of 272,710, 
with undivided profits of 152,200. By 1928 it had 


increased the paid-up capital to 4,500,000 and had a 
reserve fund of a similar amount, with assets totalling 

The Union Bank of Australia, Limited, had a paid- 
up capital of 1,500,000 and a reserve fund of 783,500 
fifty years ago, compared with a paid-up capital of 
4,000,000, a reserve fund of 4,850,000, and assets 
amounting to 47,144,289, in 1928. 

In 1878, the capital of the English, Scottish, and 
Australian Bank, Limited, was 720,000. By 1928 it 
had advanced to 3,000,000 and its reserve funds and 
undivided profits exceeded 3,300,000. The assets 
totalled 44,500,000. 

The Australian Bank of Commerce, Limited suc- 
cessors of the Australian Joint Stock Bank with a capital 
of 500,000 has now paid-up capital and reserves 
amounting to 3,255,000 and assets aggregating 

The National Bank of Australasia, Limited has 
also improved its position. The paid-up capital has risen 
from 782,550 to 5,000,000 j the reserve fund from 
277,102 to 3,000,000$ and the assets have increased 
to 45,622,056. 

The Commercial Bank of Australia, Limited, had in 
1878 a paid-up capital of 250,000, compared with 
3,617,350 in 1928. At the latter date, the reserve fund 
was 1,663,962, and the assets 30,448,786. 

The Queensland National Bank, Limited, with a 
capital of 375,012 and reserve fund of 32,000 in 1878, 
has grown to 1,750,000 of paid-up capital, 785,000 
reserve funds, and assets aggregating 15,137,664, in 

The Bank of Adelaide fifty years ago had a paid-up 
capital of 400,000 and a reserve fund of 115,000, to 
compare with the present-day capital and reserves, 
amounting to 2,220,000 and assets totalling 9,134,806* 


The Commonwealth Bank of Australia, opened for 
business in 1913, holds, excluding the Savings Bank De- 
partment, assets amounting to 96,992,241. 

The Bank of New Zealand holds, in Australia, assets 
amounting to 6,206,536. 

The Primary Producers Bank of Australia, Limited, 
more recently established, has assets amounting to 

The records of the Life Assurance Societies of Aus- 
tralia show that they have made very marked advance 
during the past fifty years. The reports of the five 
largest Life Societies show that: 

The Australian Mutual Provident, with invested 
funds of 2,600,000 in 1878, has increased its funds dur- 
ing the past fifty years to 73,700,000 and its annual in- 
come to 11,000,000. 

The National Mutual Life, in 1878, had funds 
amounting to 60,235, and has increased them to 
28,509,399, and its annual income to 4,250,000. 

The Mutual Life and Citizens', established in 1886, 
has now assets totalling 1 8,567,527 and an annual income 
exceeding 2,679,000. 

The Australasian Temperance and General has ad- 
vanced its funds form 2691 to 13,417,000. 

The Colonial Mutual Life, established in 1873, five 
years later possessed funds amounting to 63,628. These 
have now risen to 1 1,000,000, with an income exceeding 

The City Mutual Life, now in its jubilee year, has 
an income of 1,223,364, with Assurance Funds at 
4,840,679 and admitted reserves of 275,000. 

Among Societies of more recent origin is The Aus- 
tralian Metropolitan Life, with assets of 892,992 and 
an income of 255,142. 

The total assets of Australian Banks amount to 
512,874,993, while 217,545,735 is held by Com- 


monwealth and State Savings Banks. The accumulated 
funds of the Life Assurance Societies total 151,202,597. 
The aggregate for Banks and Life Assurance Societies 
amounts to 881,623,325. 


EXCEPT for the few years immediately following the 
landing of Governor Phillip at Port Jackson, the pastoral 
industry has always held first place of importance in Aus- 
tralia. As the country became known and settlement 
extended, land areas were defined and apportioned. But 
the grants of land were of an area useful only for agri- 
cultural work and the depasturing of a few score sheep 
and cattle. The men who desired to run large flocks and 
herds could not find the land they required within the 
settlements, and they were debarred by Ordinance from 
trespassing beyond the declared boundaries. 

Beyond the artificial boundaries laid down by the 
Governor and his councillors there were vast unknown 
lands, capable of grazing innumerable sheep and cattle, 
occupied only by a few roving natives and wild animals, 
few of the latter being carnivorous. Gradually some 
daring spirits wandered a few miles into the unknown. 
Others were bolder still, and presently the unsurveyed 
lands bordering the settlements were occupied by quickly 
increasing herds. At first the graziers kept a nominal 
connection with the settlements where their permanent 
homes were established, building in the wild lands tem- 
porary accommodation, where grass and water happened 
to be in abundance. 

At the beginning of the year 1846 there were only 
417,000 cattle and 1,891,000 sheep within the defined 
settlement areas. But outside these boundaries roamed 
698,000 head of cattle and 2,5 1 8,000 sheep. Southwards 


from Sydney, in the Port Phillip district, the disparities 
between the stock on the settlement areas and 
the "outer" lands stock were even more marked. The 
cattle and sheep within the settlement area numbered 
30,000 and 351,000 respectively, while on the "outer" 
lands wandered 200,973 head of cattle and 1,430,914 
sheep. In the northern districts of New South Wales 
most of which were later separated from the mother 
colony and formed into the colony of Queensland 
there was still a greater disparity. In 1884 only 334 
runs, containing 7,440,000 acres, were within settlements. 
Throughout the "outer" lands were huge runs, number- 
ing in all 9207, containing a total of 308,669,026 acres. 

In the very early days of the settlements the squat- 
ters grazing sheep and cattle on the "outer" lands were 
regarded as trespassers, although the Government recog- 
nised them sufficiently to make them take out an annual 
licence for grazing on the trespassed lands. They were 
further assessed on their flocks and herds. At times, the 
authorities made spasmodic attempts to suppress these 
"trespassers," but without success for the squatter 
had by this time become a power in the 
land. In 1847 the pastoralists, within and with- 
out the settlements, had secured from the Home 
Authorities Orders-in-Council that established for them 
a system of tenure. These Orders-in-Council provided 
that lands in the colonies were to be divided into three 
classes settled, intermediate, and unsettled. In the 
settled districts tenure for one year was obtainable; in 
the intermediate districts the tenure could be secured for 
eight years j in the unsettled districts, for fourteen years. 
During the currency of these leases except in the inter- 
mediate districts the occupants could not be disturbed by 
the purchase of any portion of the land for agricultural 
use. The squatter could purchase any portion of his 
lease at the rate of 1 per acre, and, on the expiration 


of his lease, had a pre-emptive right to all or any part of 
his lands. In the intermediate districts a new and unique 
form of lease was devised. Although the nominal term 
of the lease might be up to eight years, yet, at the end 
of any year, the lease might be cancelled at 60 days' notice 
and the land sold over the lessee's head. 

These Orders-in-Council had a great effect on the 
wool industry. The squatters, with some security of 
tenure, began to make improvements on their runs and 
increase the efficiency of their work. But the pre-emptive 
right to purchase aroused much opposition from the 
Governors and the public, for many of the squatters "pea- 
cocked" their leaseholds by purchasing the land around 
the natural waters, leaving the greater portions of the 
runs without water-rights. Again, the fixed price of 1 
per acre, at which the squatter had the right to purchase 
any portion of his runs during the currency of his lease, 
was strongly resisted on the ground that the price was, in 
a very large number of cases, far below that which the 
freehold would bring at auction. 

After self-government was granted to the colonies 
in 1855 the character of the land problem changed en- 
tirely. The gold-rushes had brought a great accession of 
population. The men who had won fortunes on the gold- 
fields, and other immigrants, wished to settle on the land. 
Many of them had only a small capital and were unable 
to pay in full for the land they selected. Some means 
to help them had to be devised. 

The leading scheme to foster settlement was the John 
Robertson Act of 1 861 . This Act contained two import- 
ant provisions. First, the pastoral leases were granted for 
only one year if within the settled area, and for five years 
if outside it j but the whole area, surveyed or not, was open 
to selection and sale at any time. Secondly, selectors could 
pick a limited area 4-0 to 320 acres in any place, at 1 
per acre, and pay as deposit one quarter of the purchase 


money. They had then to reside on the land for three 
years, making during the residence improvements worth 
1 per acre. The balance of the purchase money they 
were allowed to pay off virtually at will, with five per 
cent per annum interest added. 

The John Robertson scheme conditional purchase 
by residence, improvements, and instalments played a 
large part in the subsequent history of land settlement in 
Australia. The underlying principle was copied by nearly 
every colony e.g., in Duffy's legislation in Victoria 
(1862) and in Strangways's Act (1869) of South Aus- 
tralia. Great things were expected from the Act embody- 
ing the scheme, and, after the main principle was modified 
and surrounded with safeguards against abuse, it certainly 
settled very large areas of land. 

But the first effect of the scheme, as framed in the 
Act of Parliament, was to precipitate a fierce struggle be- 
tween the established squatters and the invading selec- 
tors. A number of the selectors were genuine, wishing 
to take up land for defined use 5 but the Act left a loophole 
for the unscrupulous rogues who "settled" on the large 
runs with the definite determination of compelling the 
lessees to buy them out at greatly enhanced values. Faced 
with disaster, the squatters took the only means open to 
protect their property. They obtained "dummies" to 
select land on their behalf, even going so far as to take 
paupers out of asylums and place them on allotments. 
They purchased heavily at auction sales and, because they 
could with the help of their credits at the banks pay 
cash and buy in large tracts, they beat the small financial 
men in the auction-rooms. In consequence they emerged 
from the struggle large landowners. The legislation that 
had been intended to benefit the colony by establishing 
closer settlement, succeeded only in creating much larger 

In New South Wales, between 1861 and 1884, more 


than 39,000,000 acres were disposed of in one way or 
another more than half the area by conditional purchase. 
Yet this vast alienation gave the colony only 21,000 more 
settlers, and there were only 420,000 more acres under 
the plough in 1884 than in 1861. In Victoria similar 
developments took place during the same period, while 
in South Australia, in 1891, 539 persons held two-fifths 
of the alienated land, in estates of 5000 acres and over. 
Much of the land in the big holdings was within the area 
suitable for agriculture and was well supplied with road 
and railway facilities. For instance, within fifty miles 
of Adelaide there was an estate of 70,000 acres freehold, 
containing good rich soil and with a 20-inch rainfall. 
Similar cases could be quoted from the records of all colo- 

So great had been the evils arising out of the John 
Robertson Land Act that in 1894 the Government was 
forced to take some action. Many expedients were sug- 
gested. The one that found most favour was that the 
Government bought up the large estates and had them 
surveyed and cut up into small farms, thus finding room 
for a large number of small farmers. 

A gradual variation in pastoral and agricultural work 
took place about 1870. Before that date the surplus 
cattle and sheep had been boiled down for tallow, and 
the sales of tallow, hides, and wool had become an im- 
portant part of the pastoralists' incomes. The transport- 
ation of meat, and other perishable commodities, over 
large distances by means of refrigerating plants was at- 
tracting attention. In 1 870 a number of pastoralists formed 
the Sydney Meat Preserving Works. Prior to that date, 
in 1 867, at the suggestion of S. S. Ritchie, the Melbourne 
Meat Preserving Company was formed. But neither 
company could undertake much trade until cold storage 
had been perfected. 

The pioneer shipment of frozen meat from Aus- 


tralia was made by T. S. Mort in 1876. He fitted up 
the Northern at his own expense. Unfortunately the 
machinery failed on the voyage. Mort was not discour- 
aged. He erected large freezing works at Darling Har- 
bour, and slaughter-houses in the Lithgow Valley. Again 
he experienced failure, and he lost about 80,000 of his 
own money and at least another 20,000 subscribed by 
pastoralists. In 1880 the first successful shipment of 
meat 4000 carcasses of sheep was sent out, from Vic- 
toria, by the Strathleven. 

New Zealand had been watching Australia's experi- 
ments in transporting frozen meat over long 
distances. In 1881 that colony commenced to 
export frozen meat, and immediately became a serious 
competitor with the New South Wales industry. New 
Zealand was able to slaughter, freeze, and freight at 
cheaper rates than New South Wales or Victoria. In 
addition, she had not the heavy travelling of the cattle 
from the country to the slaughter-houses. In a short time 
she was seriously under-selling Australia. 

Could the high cost of frozen meat be reduced? 
While in London, J. H. Geddes had noticed that chilled 
meat brought from l^d. to 2d. more than frozen meat, 
and, as chilling was a cheaper method, he decided to ex- 
periment on his return to Australia. In 1894- Geddes 
made his trial shipment of chilled meat to England. The 
journey took 62 days. Unfortunately the machinery 
failed, and the meat had to be partially frozen again at 
Port Said. Nevertheless the attempt showed that chilled 
meat could be transported to England. 

While he was experimenting with chilled meat ship- 
ments, Geddes tried another experiment that of sending 
live cattle to ' England. The shipment was successful, 
only one bullock dying on the voyage. He next shipped 
twenty head on the Maori King for the journey to the 
home country via the Cape. On this venture he lost 


108. On the same vessel were 48 live sheep j four of 
them died, and the remainder realised only 18s. per head 
in England. Yet the pastoralists were not discouraged. 
In December 1894 the Echuca took away forty cattle. 
This venture proved so successful that within a few 
months a further 120 head were despatched. But the 
shipping of live stock did not flourish. It was shown 
that the expense, and the danger from death and accident, 
were too great 5 there was also the cost of attendants and 
feed on the voyage. It was found that meat shipped 
better, and more cheaply, dead than alive. 

By 1894 the problem of freezing and chilling meat 
at a low cost had been solved. Thenceforward a great 
development took place in the meat industry a develop- 
ment that reacted strongly on the pastoral industry. Freez- 
ing works were established in country centres. In Sydney 
the Pastoral Finance Association treated for transport 
during 1894 some 196,000 sheep, 6025 haunches, and 
8500 quarters of beef. During the same time the Syd- 
ney Fresh Food and Ice Company treated 318,613 sheep 
and haunches and 20,000 quarters of beef. The Aberdeen 
Chilling, Freezing, and Meat Preserving Company 
treated 171,607 sheep and 123,191 haunches and boiled 
down for tallow 206,1 85 sheep. The Sydney Meat Pre- 
serving Company killed 1,050,383 sheep and 10,000 
cattle, while the Bourke Meat Preserving Company dealt 
with from eight to ten tons of meat per day. 

The land question had become so pressing by 1899 
that the various Colonial Governments, in spite of their 
preoccupation with Federation, had to undertake the search 
for a remedy. Various schemes had been suggested dur- 
ing a few preceding years. Re-purchase, land-taxation, 
and survey before selection (classification of land) were 
the three most likely methods. All were tried at times. 

Large estates lying within a few miles of populous 
centres were held by a few men who were not putting 


them to the best use. Large areas of these lands could 
be used for farming wheat and other grain. Thousands 
of acres along the river-flats and on the fertile plains 
were raising only a few sheep and cattle. These lands, 
cut up into small areas, would provide homes and work 
for hundreds of farmers who could not at that time obtain 
suitable land at any price. 

Into the land problem came a new question. The 
Labour Party had definitely pledged itself against the 
alienation of any more of the State's lands. They, like 
their political opponents, were anxious to gain a large 
rural population, with holdings of sufficient size to pro- 
vide the farmers and their families with comfortable liv- 
ings, yet small enough to ensure that every acre was used 
to the greatest advantage but, they insisted, the land 
must not be alienated from the State. In the twenty 
years succeeding Federation only about half as much land 
had jDeen alienated by sales as had been disposed of during 
the previous century ; but that land held a far larger 
population and was divided into smaller areas. 

The ideals of re-purchase, leasehold, land-taxation, 
and survey before selection were applied differently in 
the various States. New South Wales did not try re-pur- 
chase until 1901, but then found that it was better ap- 
plicable to her particular problems than the other reme- 
dies, and has used it freely since. In this State the special 
surveys of Crown lands for "survey before selection" are 
complicated by allowing the old system of "selection be- 
fore survey" to continue in practice beside it. In Victoria 
re-purchase was commenced in 1898, but only in a very 
small way. 

Conditional purchase became the commonest method 
of settling a farming community on the land. The gene- 
ral conditions, applicable in nearly all the States, were: 
Payment (on selection) of a deposit on the purchase price 
of the land; residence on the land for a certain stated 


period 5 improvements on the land within a certain time 
and to certain specified values; and the payment of the 
purchase monies in small instalments extending over a 
very long term of years. 

At the various times that Labour held the Govern- 
ments leaseholds were the most common form of tenure 
allowed to intending settlers. In Queensland, where 
the Labour Party has held office for long terms, the lease- 
hold area is very large. Leaseholds granted in New 
South Wales are "in perpetuity," the rents charged being 
2^ per cent of the value of the property. Re-valuations 
tabe place at the end of the first twenty-five years, and 
after that at the end of every succeeding twenty years. 

Powers were taken by the Parliaments of all States, 
except Western Australia, to compel owners of large 
estates to sell. In this manner much valuable land has 
been resumed and cut up for closer settlement. 

In the early days of the land-hunger Victoria at- 
tempted by the imposition of a land-tax to force large 
land-owners to put their holdings to the best advantage. 
But the tax imposed was far too light to have the desired 

Yet, in spite of the haphazard way in which the pro- 
blem of land resumption was tackled and the very light 
taxes and conditions imposed on the accumulators of large 
acreages, between 1896 and 1901 the cultivated area in 
New South Wales was nearly doubled. In the whole 
Commonwealth the cultivated area, between the same 
dates, was raised from 6,500,000 acres to nearly 

The task of the States in building up a rural popu- 
lation proceeded very slowly. In 1 9 1 1 New South Wales 
had 5000 more agriculturists, Victoria 1000 more, and 
Queensland 200 fewer, than in 1891. Between 1901 
and 1911 the population of the Commonwealth grew by 
1 8 per cent the number of persons engaged in pastoral 


pursuits increasing by 36 per cent but the agriculturists 
increased by only 4 per cent. Net immigration, during the 
first ten years of the century, was only 40,000. There 
were a large number of big estates, and in 1910 there 
were 1152 freehold estates of over 10,000 acres, with a 
total area of 30,600,000 acres 29 per cent of the land 
being held in holdings of one acre and more. 

The aim of the Federal Land Tax of 1910 was to 
break up these large estates or to force the holders to make 
better use of the soil. The first taxation of unimproved 
land values was in South Australia in 18 84 5 other colonies 
followed suit: New South Wales in 1895, Western Aus- 
tralia in 1907, Tasmania and Victoria in 1910, Queensland 
in 1915. Local Government Acts bestowed the power 
to levy taxes on unimproved land values. Thus there 
were three taxes on the same property. The State taxes 
were mainly small from Jd. to l^d. in the pound but 
the new Federal tax was more severe. Exemption for 
residence was given on the first 5000 of unimproved 
value ; absentees had no exemption. The tax ranged 
from Id. up to 6d. in the pound, with an extra penny 
on absentees' holdings. 

In 1914 the tax was extended from freeholds to 
cover leaseholds, and in 1914 and 1918 it was increased 
for war revenue. For example, a Queensland estate of 
200,000 value paid in taxes on land some 10,500 per 
annum. A South Australian estate of the same value 
paid about 6900. Apart from local rates, large estates 
might be paying an annual capital levy of from three 
to five per cent on the unimproved value of the property. 

While the Federal Land Tax achieved part of its 
purpose to break up the large estates it brought about 
a strange battle of wits between the owners and the tax- 
gatherers. Also it led to much litigation. Where the 
estates have been sold, the prices have usually been satis- 
factory to the vendors, but where the sales have not taken 


place the owners have been able to meet the heavy taxa- 
tion through the high prices ruling since 1914. 

Between 1910 and 1918 land with the unimproved 
value of 63,000,000 (about one-quarter of the land 
originally subject to tax) had dropped from the taxation 
field into the "less than 5000" class. Much of this 
was due to the splitting up of large estates in families, to 
avoid taxation 5 but it is probable that many large holders 
parted with large areas. 

During the above eight years owners of large estates 
in the class worth over 50,000 unimproved value, got 
rid of land worth 28,000,000 and bought land worth 
only 5,000,000 (unimproved value). Absentee holders 
sold about half of their estates, and many resident holders 
took steps to place themselves below the taxation line. 
Between 1910 and 1925 the number of estates of over 
20,000 acres fell from 431 to 3 67 3 the number of estates 
between 5000 and 20,000 acres rose from 1592 to 2967 
and the number of those between 500 acres and 5090 
acres from 32,657 to 60,829. 

The effects of the Federal Land Tax, assisted by 
the State and local taxations, were, in summary, these. 
There were two absolutely opposite movements in land. 
On the one hand there were men who were selling out 
to large holders desirous of creating big estates, possibly 
of turning arable land into pastoral country. Often the 
small blocks thus disposed of had been obtained, under 
the Conditional Purchase Act, from Crown or resumed 
and sub-divided, lands. On the other hand, very large 
holders were dividing up their lands either among their 
children or among share-farmers, or were selling outright 
to the Government for closer settlement. Thus, while 
land was being resumed iand cut up for sale in closer 
settlement, the same classes of lands were being acquired 
for the formation of big estates. 

The Seat of Government (Administration) Act of 


1910 provided that the freehold of no Crown lands may 
be sold or disposed of except in pursuance of some con- 
tract entered into prior to the proclamation of the Act. 
Leases for business, residential, or special purposes, for 
99 years, are granted within the city at rentals of five 
per cent on the unimproved value of the land, subject to 
re-appraisement during the twentieth year of the term 
and during each tenth year thereafter. Outside the city 
area leases for not more than twenty-five years may be 
granted for grazing, fruit-growing, horticultural, agricul- 
tural, residential, business, and other purposes, at rentals 
of five per cent of the assessed value of the land, including 
improvements which are the property of the Crown. 

Throughout the history of Australia the tendency 
has been for the rural population to drift towards the 
cities and large towns. Retired farmers settle in the 
suburbs of the metropolis 5 the young people flock to the 
offices, the shops, and the factories 3 the rural districts 
entirely fail to retain their natural population, much less 
do they show a normal and necessary increase. 

To check this flow to towns and cities by the building 
up of rural industries and by enhancing the social attrac- 
tions of country life, is the great problem that confronts 
the Governments of Australia. Further, settlement has, 
in the older States, reached almost the limit of suitable 
land for cheap extensive exploitation. Western Aus- 
tralia and Queensland have still large areas of Crown 
lands suitable for selection, but in other States further pro- 
gress in settling a rural population depends almost entirely 
upon closer settlement and more intensive cultivation of 
the lands already in use. New South Wales discovered 
in 1923 that she had to spend nearly 20,000,000 to settle 
6000 new farmers. South Australia and Victoria can 
find room only by extensive resumptions. 

In 1928 Crown lands occupied under various forms 
of tenure totalled 1 8 1,928,385 acres in New South Wales. 


The area of the State not occupied is 16,104,885 acres, 
the greater part of which is reserved for public require- 
ments, leaving but a comparatively small area for ex- 
pansion of settlement. In a ballot for sixteen blocks of 
land at Honeybugel Station, near Nyngan, in August 
1928 there were 4300 applicants. A few days into 1929 
and 3000 persons entered into a ballot for thirteen blocks 
of land near Narrandera. During the whole year there 
has been very little settlement by migrants, only twenty- 
four having been settled on farms provided by the depart- 
ment. The latest report states that the prickly-pear 
ravages have been definitely stopped in the north-west 
of the State by the cochineal insect. 


There were over 16,000,000 sheep in Australia 
when the stock returns were made up for the year 1850. 
By 1891 that number had increased to 61,000,000. The 
Australian squatter has developed the Australian merino 
as one of the most important factors of the world's mar- 
kets. Nearly all the large stations have stud flocks for the 
purpose of improving and producing the highest-grade 
animals. Such flocks consist of sheep specially selected for 
their superior quality and pure breeding a system that 
tends not only to raise the standard of the flock-sheep 
in general, but provides pure-bred flocks of known origin. 
Stud flocks have been common from the early days of the 
colony, as may be seen from the following prices realised 
for stud merino rams: 

John Macarthur, in 1825, sold merino rams for 
300. In 1874 James Gibson of Tasmania sold "Sir 
Thomas" for 714 guineas. In 1885 D. Taylor of Tas- 
mania sold "Hercules" for 1150 guineas. In 1906 the 
Hadden Rig stud of New South Wales sold "Dandy 


Dinmont" for 1500 guineas. In 1915 the executors of 
the late F. C. Body of New South Wales sold "Lord 
Charles" for 2000 guineas. In 1925 F. B. S. Falkiner 
of New South Wales sold "Birdwood" for 1500 guineas. 
In 1928 F. D. McMaster of Dalkeith sold "David" for 
5000. During 1883 the very big price of 3150 was 
paid to John Cummings for the ram "Lustre," from the 
Terrannallum stud flock. 

Among the main established stud-flocks should be 
noticed the celebrated Wanganella stud, established in 
1858, which, with the failure of the fine-woolled sheep in 
the hot dry districts of New South Wales, came into great 
prominence. Later it was shown that strong wool alone 
did not meet all the requirements. The original sheep, 
of Bayly (Havilah) blood, were from Canally. Ram- 
bouillet rams were imported and used in the flock. One 
of these, "Emperor," was remarkably prepotent, and the 
excellent and permanent qualities transmitted by him were 
mainly responsible for the present-day qualities which 
have made these sheep famous throughout Australia and 
South Africa. 

The second stud-flock of note was established at 
Coonong by Sir Samuel McCaughey about 1860, and was 
devoted to ewes of the Camden strain and Bayly (Havi- 
lah) rams. Stud sheep from R. Q. Kermode of Mona 
Vale, Tasmania, were also used in developing this flock. 
In 1886 Sir Samuel, with the idea of improving the den- 
sity of the fleeces, imported Vermont rams and ewes at 
a cost of 50,000. Before this purchase the same strain 
had been introduced into the flock through the progeny 
of "Old Grimes," the famous Vermont ram of 1865. The 
yolk and wrinkles ultimately condemned this breed, but 
the experiment showed the Australian breeder that bigger 
neck-folds and better thighs and covering could be put 
over the sheep by selections from local Australian breeds. 

An important phase in the development of the Aus- 


tralian merino sheep began about the year 1910. Big- 
framed sheep with plain bodies replaced the wrinkly type 
formerly so popular. The Wanganella type gradually 
came into demand not only in the different states of the 
Commonwealth but also in South Africa. About the year 
1914 the export of rams and ewes to South Africa com- 
menced, depleting many of the best flocks in New South 
Wales, Tasmania, and South Australia. Gradually, both 
in South Africa and Australia the demand increased for 
a plain-bodied type, developing size of frame and length 
of staple, maintaining density, and increasing the weight 
of fleece to over eight pounds. 

The many advantages of this type are obvious. They 
are useful not only for the wool, but for mutton; they 
have a more robust constitution, a greater resistance to 
drought and also to blowfly, and a higher value in the 
fat-stock and store-stock saleyards. With the growing 
demand for carcasses for export, together with the expan- 
sion of cultivation, the various British breeds have become 
more and more popular, especially for the production of 
crossbreds. In 1 9 1 there were 45,560,969 sheep in New 
South Wales. 

By 1920 the number of sheep on stations in New 
South Wales had fallen to 33,851,828 about three- 
quarters of the totals for 1910. Within the next five 
years the numbers had recovered, the stock returns show- 
ing 42,925,177, with a marked tendency to increases. 

Victoria had in 1910 some 12,882,665 sheep. "For* 
Phillip" wool had a place of high esteem among manu- 
facturers for its length of staple, fineness of fibre, 
and brightness and purity of colour. Its outstanding 
characteristic is its comparative freedom from foreign 
matter, and it therefore usually commands higher prices 
than the wool from any other Australian State. In 1920 
there were 12,171,084 sheep on the Victorian runs, and- 


by 1925 these had increased to 12,649,898, about 200,000 
less than the peak year for the State, 1910. 

In 1910 Queensland possessed some 20,331,838 
sheep, nearly twice as many as in the year 1900 and over 
two millions more than in 1890. But 1910 proved to 
be the State's peak year in sheep production, and in fol- 
lowing years there was a small but steady decline in 
numbers until 1920, when the flocks totalled only 
17,404,840. There was then a smart recovery, and the 
totals for the year 1925 show the sheep in the northern 
State to number 19,082,252. 

In Tasmania in 1910 there were 1,788,310 sheep, a 
steady advance on the years from 1900 on. The years 
following 1910 showed a slight decrease, the year 1920 
having a total of 1,570,832. A slight recovery then took 
place, the figures for 1925 showing the number to be 

Of late years South Australia made steady advance 
in sheep breeding, the number for 1910 5,235,220 
being more than a million in excess of that of 1 900. Then 
followed a steady but small increase, the figures for 1920 
being 6,359,944, and for 1925 but 704 less. In the 
Northern Territory for 1910 there were 57,000, but from 
that date the numbers quickly declined. In 1920 there 
were but 6062 sheep, and in 1925 a slight rise to 6194 
head. Most of the sheep at the present date in the 
Northern Territory are on Government Experimental 
Stations, with one noted flock on Brunette Downs Station. 

Western Australia possessed less than a million sheep 
up to the year 1880. From that date the advance was 
rapid. In 1900 there were 2,434,31 1 sheep in the State; 
these increased 5,158,516 in 1910 and to 6,532,965 in 
1920. Then followed a slight decline to 6,396,564 in 

Total number of sheep in Australia in 1926 being 


Cattle. A peak year for the cattle industry in New South 
Wales was followed in 1 862 by a severe attack of pleuro- 

In that year 2,620,383 head of cattle had wandered 
the colony's pastures, but in 1863-4- the number was re- 
duced to 2,032,522, and many squatters replaced cattle 
"by sheep. In 1866 the number of cattle had decreased 
to 1,771,809, and in 1867 to 1,728,427. From that date 
cattle commenced to increase again and in 1 870 had passed 
the two million mark. In 1870 there were 2,195,096 
head in the colony, but by 1890 the figures had decreased 
to 2,091,229. An official report, dated 1870, states: 
"The principal breeds of Great Britain Shorthorned or 
Durham, Hereford and Devon are to be found here (in 
New South Wales) in perfection. Pedigree stock is much 
sought for and realises high prices . . the colonial 
animals are allowed to compete without restriction with 
the imported at Agricultural Shows, although formerly 

imported and colonial breeds were classed separately 

During 1905 there were 2,337,973 head of cattle in 
New South Wales, including "large numbers of pure-bred 
stock, high-priced and of high quality" (Stock Inspector's 
report). Cattle were booming, for in 1900 there had 
only been 1,983,116 head in the State. In 1920 there 
were 3,375,267 on the run, but by 1925 the figures had 
decreased to 2,876,254. 

Government regulations in Victoria made it impera- 
tive for squatters to have herds sufficient to justify claims 
to good areas of land in the coveted "western country." 
From the year of the Port Phillip settlement pastoral 
lands were in great demand. In 1850, when the discovery 
of gold called a temporary halt to pastoral activities, 
there were 346,562 cattle in the colony, and the output 
of tallow for the year was 10,009,246 lb., valued at 
132,403, The cattle originally bred were Shorthorns 


and Herefords, but the taste of the Victorian grazier 
tended always towards the Shorthorn, and gradually these 
assumed the ascendency. Stud herds were formed, and 
a number of animals from English stud farms were im- 
ported. About 1890 polled Angus cattle were imported 
into the colony and came into favour, the climate suiting 
them admirably. By 1870 there were many stud herds 
breeding for export to other colonies, the New South 
Wales Chief Inspector of Stock reporting in that year that 
"next to English stock the colony has been indebted to 

During 1860 the cattle in Victoria numbered 
722,332, including 197,332 milch cows. By 1870 the 
numbers had risen to 776,727, of which 212,193 were 
milch cows. At least eighty per cent of the stock was in 
the hands of the farmers the best portions of the old 
runs having been taken up by selectors. In 1880 there 
were 1,286,267 head of cattle, of which 329,198 were 
milch cows, and in 1890 the stock had increased to 
1,782,978 head. By 1910 the numbers had fallen to 
1,547,569, and then there 'was a slight increase to 
1,575,159 in 1920 and 1,605,554 in 1925. 

Up to 1869 cattle and sheep dominated most of the 
settled areas in Queensland. From the first settlement 
at Brisbane, and from the Northern Rivers District of 
New South Wales, the squatters penetrated the State, at 
first holding tenaciously to the coastlands, but later spread- 
ing wide across the Darling Downs and the other great 
plain-lands of the interior. 

In 1869 the sugar-cane industry found a footing in 
Queensland and gradually drove the squatters back from 
the coastal districts suitable for cane-growing. In 18 59 
there were nearly 433,000 head of cattle in the young 
colony, and within five years that number had doubled. 
De Satge's Journal of a Queensland Squatter notes 
that on the Logan River, south of Brisbane, and in the 


Moreton Bay district, cattle country was mainly free- 
hold, and that the cattle were largely used in dairying. 
He continues that farther north there were many cattle 
stations in the Burnett, Isaacs, and Burdekin valleys and 
that the Cape York Peninsula was almost entirely taken 
tip with cattle. On the rivers running into tke Gulf of 
Carpentaria there was excellent cattle country, but only 
half-stocked. The boiling-down establishments at Nor- 
manton and Burketown were primitive, and those at 
Bowen and Townsville were out of reach. The coastal 
runs were well served in this respect with factories and 
freezing works at or near Brisbane, Toowoomba, Glad- 
stone, Rockhampton, and St. Lawrence. The inland 
areas were served with establishments at Charleville, Bar- 
caldine, Longreach, and Hughenden. All northern and 
western cattle were travelled to market on the hoof. 

There were 3,162,752 head of cattle in Queensland 
in 1880$ by 1890 they had increased to 5,558,264. Over 
the following years, to 1900, there was a rapid decline 
of over a million to 4,078,191 head. By 1910 the 
figures had re-established themselves to 5,131,699, to in- 
crease to 6,455,067 by 1920 and remain fairly stationary 
to 1925, when the catde in the State numbered 6,454,653. 

During the early days of the colony of South Aus- 
tralia the year 1860 must be considered the peak for 
cattle. In that year they numbered 278,265, but in 
succeeding years there was a considerable falling~off, the 
numbers in 1870 being 136,832. Thenceforward there 
was a slight tendency to increase, and in 1880 there were 
283,3 15 head. 

South Australia has always been more of an agricul- 
tural than a pastoral country, the runs being restricted to 
the "outside country," including the Northern Territory. 
In 1895 there was a total of 636,824 head of cattle in 
South Australia and the Northern Territory. The breeds 
most favoured were Shorthorns and Heref ords, and some 


very fine studs have been established in the colony, one 
of the chief being that belonging to J. H. Angas, who 
in 1 848 stocked his run with pure-bred stock brought from 
England by the South Australian Company. 

In 1900 South Australia possessed but 214,761 head 
of cattle. In 1910 these figures had advanced to 384,862, 
but in 1920 there was a decline to 376,399. By 1925 the 
total of cattle amounted to 400,423. 

In 1880 the Northern Territory began to make a 
move as a pastoral country. There is a very great differ- 
ence between the 1880 and 1890 figures. In 1880 there 
were only 19,720 head of cattle in the South Australian 
northlands. By 1890 the numbers had increased to 
214,094. A marked advance was made up to 1900, with 
257,667 head} then came a quick and large jump, in 1910, 
to 513,383. In 1920 the increase brought the figures 
to 659,840, and in 192 J the total number of cattle in the 
Territory amounted to 851,351. 

Western Australia did not make much progress as a 
pastoral country until after the opening of the north-west 
lands. Live stock was then shipped to the colony, and 
soon the country was taken up and stocked as far north 
as the Cambridge Gulf and the Kimberleys. In 1860 
there were 32,476 head of cattle in the colony. The 
numbers increased to 45,213 in 1870 and to 63,719 in 
1880. Then came the great jump up in numbers, follow- 
ing upon Alexander Forrest's great journey through the 
Kimberleys which resulted in the discovery of many 
millions of acres of first-class cattle country. In 1890 
there were 130,970 cattle in the State. These increased to 
338,590 in 1900 and to 825,040 in 1910. The rapid 
advance stayed there. In 1 920 the numbers had increased 
to 849,803 and to 891,564 in 1925. 

Tasmania has never been considered a cattle country} 
yet both pastures and climate are particularly suitable for 
stock. It is reported that in 1 841 it was found profitable to 


ship fat cattle from New South Wales to Hobart. In 1 860 
there were 83,366 head of cattle in the island colony. 
These had increased to 101,459 in 1870 and to 127,187 
in 1880. In 1890 there were 162,440 in the island, and 
these grew to 165,516 in 1900 and to 201,854 in 1910. 
The steady advance was maintained through the following 
years, the figures for 1920 being 208,202, and for 1925, 

Horses. Horse-breeding in Australia may be said to have 
commenced with the importation of some excellent types 
of Arab, Welsh, and English breeds in 1826. Before that 
date the horses in use in New South Wales were of mixed 
origin. A large number had been imported from Cape 
Colony and from various parts of the East, especially 
India. To these had been added some stud stallions and 
mares imported by private individuals. As pastoral set- 
tlement extended and the demand for horses for station 
work increased, the breed deteriorated through careless 
mating. "The services of thoroughbred sires being unat- 
tainable or too expensive, colts, often of the most indiffer- 
ent descriptions, were used in their stead and ran loose 
with little mobs of mares and fillies about the settlers' 
homesteads." Yet so great was the call for horses in the 
early days of Port Phillip that even "weeds" commanded 
fair prices. In consequence?, the production of any kind of 
horse was pushed to the limit. Towards the end of 1 843 
so great became the production that three of these "weeds" 
could be purchased for the value of a good saddle. 

There is considerable variety in the style and make of 
the horses in the various colonies. In Victoria there can 
be found the really heavy draught-horse. The draught- 
horses of New South Wales are distinctly smaller and 
lighter, in Queensland the horses are lighter still. 

Partly on account of the suitable climate and partly 
because the pastoral work on large stations requires a 


constant supply of hardy horses, Queensland and Western 
Australia have gradually forged to the front as the horse- 
breeding States of Australia. 

In 1860 New South Wales contained 251,497 horses 
and consistently increased her numbers. In 1880 the 
figures were 395,984, and in 1 890, 444,1 63. The steady 
advance was maintained through 1900, with 481,417 
horses, till 1910, with 650,636. In 1920 the horses in 
the State numbered 663,178, and from that year there 
was a slight falling off in figures to 649,534 in 1925. 

Victoria possessed 275,516 horses in 1880 and in- 
creased these by 1890 to 436,459. There was a falling 
off in 1900 to 392,237 horses and then a great advance 
to 472,080 in 1910. The year 1920 showed another ad- 
vance to 487,503, while the years to 1925 record a slight 
decrease to 463,051. 

Between the years 1880 and 1890 there was in 
Queensland a great advance in horse-breeding 179,152 
for 1880 as against 365,812 for 1890. In 1900 there were 
456,788 horses in the colony, and these increased to 
593,813 in 1910. In 1920 the figures showed that the 
State possessed 741,024 horses, but by 1925 the stock re- 
turns gave only 637,436. 

South Australia possessed 148,219 horses in 1880$ in 
1890 these had increased to 187,686. There then came a 
considerable decrease to 166,790 in 1900, and a marked 
increase to 249,326 in 1910. In 1920 the horses in the 
State had increased to 268,187, to fall to 244,1 1 1 in 1925. 

In the Northern Territory there were in 1880 only 
2372 horses. By 1890 these had increased to 11,919, 
and to 12,562 by 1900. In 1910 there were 24,509 a 
great advance. The period to 1 920 showed another large 
advance to 37,837 and the increase continued to 
46,380 by 1925. 

Tasmania had 25,267 horses in 1880 and increased 
these to 31,165 by 1890. The figures then remained 


almost stationary, being 31,607 for 1900. An advance 
to 41,388 horses came in 1910, and then a decrease to 
39,1 17 in 1920 and a further decrease to 37,785 horses in 

Western Australia had in 1880 only 34,568 horses 
and increased these to 44,384 in 1890. Another ad- 
vance to 68,258 came in 1900, and then a great jump to 
134,1 14 in 1910. 1920 saw 178,664 horses in the State, 
but these had diminished to 170,563 by 1925. 


THE first record of wool-marketing in Australia dates 
from the time when John Macarthur forwarded a few 
pounds of Camden wool to the English market, mainiy 
as an experiment. He received so favourable a report that 
within a few years he was sending bales to the home- 
markets, and obtaining up to 10s. 4d. per Ib. In 1807 
the first quantity shipment is recorded, the amount being 
245 Ib.j it is said to have been of fine quality. 

Local selling began when the wool-growers bartered 
their fleeces against their bills at the Government stores. 
Later, when private merchants were established, they took 
the wool against goods, forwarding large quantities 
to the London markets and receiving in return shipments 
of general merchandise. Later, when the trade expanded 
and money became more plentiful in the colony, specu- 
lative buyers came into existence. The first firm of wool- 
buyers of note was established by Thomas Sutcliffe Mort, 
who had come from England in 1838 to the employ of 
Aspinali, Brown & Co. He was subsequently one of the 
promoters of the Hunter River Navigation Company. 
Mort found himself out of employment in 1 843 through 
the failure of his firm, and he decided to commence trad- 
ing as auctioneer and wool-broker. In 1 845 he initiated 


the firm of Mort & Company, with the idea of assisting 
the small growers of wool to realise quickly on their 

Five years after Mort founded his auctioneering and 
wool-buying business in Sydney, Richard Goldsbrough 
arrived in Melbourne and established himself as a wool- 
broker. The fine clips of 1850-51 consolidated his posi- 
tion in the trade, in spite of the goldfields attracting over- 
great attention. In 1 853 he founded the firm of Golds- 
brough & Kirk, stock and station agents, buying stations 
on the Riverina. Four years later he decided to confine 
his activities entirely to wool-broking. In 1881, in amal- 
gamation with another firm, he founded the business of 
R. Goldsbrough & Co., with a capital of 3,000,000. 
After his death the Melbourne firm, whose Sydney trade 
was almost equal to their Melbourne business, amalga- 
mated with the Sydney firm of Mort & Co., founding the 
present-day firm of Goldsbrough, Mort & Co., one of the 
greatest wool-buying businesses in Australia. In 1880 
Melbourne was the great wool-buying centre, handling 
122,272 bales in that year, against Sydney's 50,000. 
Gradually, as New South Wales devoted her pastoral 
lands to sheep, the positions were reversed, and a decade 
later Sydney sales topped those of Melbourne. 

In 1916 the usual auctioneering of wool had to be 
abandoned. In its place was evolved the Imperial Wool 
Purchasing Scheme, which lasted for a period of three 
and a half seasons and handled wool and sheepskins to 
the value of 202,578,922. Negotiations opened up by 
the Imperial authorities with the Commonwealth Govern- 
ment resulted in the sale of the balance of the 1916-17 
clip to the Imperial authorities at 15^d. per Ib. (on a 
"greasy" basis), plus 50 per cent of any profits on re- 
sale. A Proclamation, under the War Precautions Act, 
prohibited the sale of wool and dry sheepskins, and the 
trade was called upon to invent a new system of apprais- 


ing the relative value of every lot of wool so as to bring 
out the whole purchase at 1 5^d. per Ib. A central govern- 
ing body was formed, consisting of representatives of 
every section of the industry selling-brokers, growers, 
wool-buyers, manufacturers, wool-scourers, and fell- 
mongers with a Government nominee as Chairman. 
This body was known as the Commonwealth of Australia 
Central Wool Committee and sat under the Chairmanship 
of Sir John Higgins. Detailed work in each State was 
delegated to "State Wool Committees," with similar re- 
presentation to that of the Central Committee. A tech- 
nical advisory board determined a practical scheme of 
appraising wool, and created a "table of limits" which 
constituted the most complete classification of wool ever 
attempted. It divided the clip of approximately 1,800,000 
bales into 848 distinct types, and fixed the price for each 
in its relation to the purchase price of 1 5^d. per Ib. 

So successful was the Board that it was continued 
after the war, to 1920. The total number of bales handled 
by the Central Wool Committee was 7,156,616, which, 
plus charges, were valued at 166,977,382. It purchased 
under appraisement 179,763 bales of sheepskins (con- 
taining 17,398,580 skins), valued at 5,948,540. Wool- 
growers and others received: first distribution, 5 per cent 
of appraised value, paid in cash (October 1920), 
7,653,000} second distribution, 14.30951 per cent of 
appraised value, paid (July 30, 1921), in priority wool 
certificates, 10,000,000 (July 30, 1921) and in fully 
paid one-pound shares in the British-Australian Wool 
Realisation Association, Limited, 12,000,000 (July 30, 
1 92 1 ) . Thus the grand total was 202,578,922. 

Wool-marketing made great progress after the Great 
War. In 1924-25 there were total local sales of 
1,587,750 bales, of which 653,200 were sold in Sydney, 
382,743 in Melbourne, 165,693 in Adelaide, 84,903 in 
Perth, 267,641 in Brisbane, and 33,570 in Tasmania. In 


the following season the sales were: Sydney, 1,078,216; 
Melbourne, 690,284; Adelaide, 250,216; Perth, 124,396; 
Brisbane, 477,337; Tasmania, 34,885. 

From all Australian ports between July and Decem- 
ber 1928, there were despatched 711,826 bales of wool, 
valued at 30 per bale, or a total of 21,354,280. In 
June the National Council of Wool-selling Brokers of 
Australia estimated that the 1928-29 clip would realise 
2,462,000 bales. In December it altered its estimate to 
2,577,000 bales. This clip was sold for 60,873,662 and 
was a record clip for Australia, the average price being 
24 19s. 1 Id. per bale. The total production for 1926-27 
was 2,712,438 bales, but the prices were lower and the 
wool-cheques reached only 55,610,468 an average of 
21 13s. 

Unofficial figures place the 1928-29 clip at 2,600,000 
bales. Even if the Council's estimates are accepted, the 
wool-cheque will be over 64,000,000. A record price, 
since 1924-25, of 43^-d. per pound was paid on the Sydney 
market in December 1928. 

Sheep exports are growing large. For the present 
South Africa is the chief buyer, but Russia has recently bid 
for high-class sheep, with the intention of stocking her 
immense pastures for the wool-trade. South Africa began 
importing Australian sheep about 1902; that country's 
wool industry had previously been hardly worth men- 
tioning, but at the end of June 1927 the South African 
flocks totalled about 40,000,000 head, showing an in- 
crease of 7,000,000 in three years, the increase in wool- 
production being correspondingly great. Ten years ago 
experts stated that South Africa could not carry more than 
30,000,000 sheep; six months ago another expert declared 
that "in thirty or forty years South Africa will probably 
shear 80,000,000 sheep." 



THE growth of agriculture in Australia has been largely 
influenced by railway construction. In 1850 the first 
year of the gold-boom there were nearly 200,000 
acres under cultivation. The discovery of gold had for 
the time a retarding influence on agriculture, bringing the 
acreage down by nearly half through the scarcity of labour* 
In 1852 there were only 132,000 acres under crop. But 
when commercial life adapted itself to the new conditions 
the acreage began to increase again j in 1858 there were 
223,000 acres under cultivation. When the Hawkes- 
bury and Hunter Districts were connected with the coast 
by railways, agriculture advanced to an acreage of 3 1 9,000,, 
and through the two following years to 451,000 acres. 
In 1 869 the railway penetrated southwards to the Goul- 
burn plains and westwards to Bowenfels. In 1870 the 
acreage under cultivation was 426,976. From 1875 the 
rich Bathurst plains were brought into communication 
with the coastal districts, and in 1880 the area under the 
plough reached a total of 706,000 acres. In 1870 experts 
stated: "we can produce whfcat of a quality that can stand 
the competition of the world, but we cannot do it at the 
necessary price. The cost of labour is too expensive for 
rude processes, and we have not yet attained to such pro- 
ficiency in the use of labour-saving machinery as would 
counterbalance the rate of wages." Up to 1 896 Victoria 
supplied New South Wales with a very material portion 
of the f ood-stuffs required by the mother colony. 

Tasmania, turning her cultivation more towards oats, 
peas, potatoes, and hops than wheat, developed acreage 
slowly. In addition, her lands were more heavily tim- 
bered and clearing was more expensive than on the main- 
land. Progress was also hindered by the old free-grant 
system of alienating large areas. For instance, up to 


1864, 2,960,765 acres had been given away, and during 
the same period only 1,278,748 acres had been sold and 
this in a small colony where great tracts in the centre and 
west were too rugged and too forest-covered to make cul- 
tivation profitable, and any great development was impos- 
sible after the early settlers had absorbed the rich and 
easily attained patches. In 1860 Tasmania had 152,860 
acres under cultivation. These were a legacy from the 
days of the gold-rush in Victoria and New South Wales, 
when those colonies looked to Tasmania for many food- 
stuffs required to feed their fast-growing population of 
miners and traders. 

Agriculture in Victoria received a great impetus from 
the protective tariff of 1871. The rates provided on im- 
ports were one shilling for every hundred-pound weight 
of grain and produce of every kind, twenty shillings a ton 
on onions and potatoes, and so on. And, it must not be 
forgotten that these duties did not apply only to oversea 
products, but to imports from the sister colonies surround- 
ing Victoria. At the time when this tariff induced more 
farmers to put land under cultivation there were in the 
colony over 315 miles of railways to bring the crops to 
the populous areas. Yet Victoria was obliged to import 
a million bushels of wheat yearly. 

In 1885 the Government of Victoria appointed a 
Commission to inquire what steps were necessary to fur- 
ther the production of vegetables and other products in 
larger quantities. In its report the Commission recom- 
mended a "judicious system of offering bonuses for new 
vegetable products and for the further development of 
vegetable products already established." By the end of 
1890 over 370,000 had been paid in bonuses, and in 
1894 the Commission claimed great credit for good work 

Victoria possessed great mallee lands, occupying the 
great bend of the Murray Valley from Swan Hill to 


Murray Bridge, and in 1880 it decided to bring these 
under cultivation. Nearly eleven million acres of this 
country were cleared by heavy rollers and wooden frames 
dragged by traction engines. The timber thus crushed 
down was burned off, and the land was ploughed by 
stump-jumping ploughs (a recent local invention) and 
harrowed with stump-jumping harrows. The stumps of 
the trees were left to rot out or to be removed by other 
means at the farmers' convenience. In 1860 Victoria had 
under crop 387,282 acres. In 1880 these had increased 
to 1,548,809 and in 1900 to 3,114,132. 

When Queensland was part of the colony of New 
South Wales, the land was considered purely pastoral. 
It was not until some time after the northlands had been 
created a separate colony that agriculture was seriously 
considered. At the date of the separation Queensland 
had only 3557 acres under cultivation, mainly about Bris- 
bane, Warwick, and Toowoomba. During the American 
Civil War, and the consequent shortage of cotton in 
Europe, experiments were made in cotton-growing and 
for a few years Queensland cotton-growers made good 
money. When peace was declared in America the price 
of cotton fell, and the new Australian industry was nearly 

While cotton-growing had occupied the Queensland 
farmers' attention certain people had been experimenting 
with sugar-cane. When cotton failed, a serious attempt 
was made to grow cane commercially. The influence of 
the successful cultivation of sugar-cane on Queensland 
agriculture can be seen from the acreage under cultivation 
during the intervening years. In 1860-61 there were 
3353 acres under cultivation, none of which were under 
sugar-cane. In 1870-71 there were 52,210 acres, of 
which 6342 acres held cane. In 1880-81 the acreage had 
grown to 1 13,978, and of this 20,224 acres were in cane. 

Three great inventions in this decade promoted the 


advance of agriculture in Australia, and, indeed, in the 
whole world. The first was the stump- jump plough, in- 
vented by Robert Bowyer Smith, of Ardrossan, South 
Australia. In 1876 he and his brother Clarence Herbert 
constructed a plough with shares contained in a frame, 
working independently of each other. If one of the shares 
struck a stump or other obstacle, it automatically rose, 
passed over the obstacle, and re-entered the ground. On 
February 19, 1877, this plough was registered, but not 
patented. In 1881 J. W, Stott, a blacksmith of Alma, 
South Australia, who had constructed a similar plough, 
joined the Smiths and made improvements in their ma- 
chine. In the new model several ploughs were hinged 
to an angle-bar in such a way that each had the same 
length of beam, and the beams were cranked so as to 
permit each mould-board to pass the adjoining beam. 
Without the stump-jumping plough the mallee lands of 
Victoria might never have been successfully cultivated. 
In 1881, owing to the use of the new plough, only 55 
acres out of 426,338 taken up were forfeited, whereas 
the figures for the previous year (when the old-style 
plough was in use) were 2345 acres out of 34,245. 

The second invention of note was the stripper- 
thresher. Shortage of labour in 1 843 led J. W. Bull to 
experiment with a threshing machine to take the grain 
from the standing straw. Bull's work was improved on 
by J. Ridley, whose stripper revolutionised grain-growing 
by reducing the cost of harvesting from three shillings 
to threepence halfpenny. In 1884 H. V. McKay com- 
bined the previous inventions with new features in his 
"Harvester" stripping, threshing, and winnowing by the 
one machine. 

The third and perhaps the greatest invention was 
the life-work of William James Farrer. In 1 875 he en- 
tered the New South Wales Department of Lands, and 
worked in the Dubbo, Cobar, and Cooma Districts until 


1886. In that year he resigned his appointment and set- 
tled at Lambrigg, near Queanbeyan, where he began to 
experiment in hybridizing wheats, endeavouring to find 
rust-resisting or rust-proof varieties. For eleven years 
Fairer pursued his experiments on his own farm, develop- 
ing his researches to include improvements in the milling 
values of wheats. In this endeavour he received the 
ungrudging help of F. B. Guthrie, chemist of the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture. In 1898 Farrer was made Experi- 
mentalist to the Department of Agriculture, a position 
which enabled him to obtain the widest field and greatest 
facilities for work which the Government had come to 
recognise as of vital importance to Australia. 

The invention of the stump-jumping plough and the 
harvester resulted in a great increase of grain production. 
In New South Wales the improved methods were stimu- 
lated by the strain put upon the owners of unproductive 
lands by Reid's "unimproved values" land-tax. In 1 895-6 
there were 1,348,600 acres under cultivation. South 
Australia was devoting more and more of her lands to 
cereals. In 1880-81 she had 2,087,237 acres under crop, 
of which 1,735,542 acres (or 83 per cent) were in wheat. 
In 1900-1 she had 2,369,680 acres under crop, and of 
this area 1,913,247 were occupied by wheat. In Queens- 
land there were, in 1880-1, 113,978 acres under crop, of 
which 20,224 (or 17f per cent) were occupied by sugar- 
cane. In 1900-1 the colony had 457,397 acres in culti- 
vation, and 108,535 acres (or 23f per cent) were growing 

In 1905 Western Australia turned from the develop- 
ment of her goldfields to her golden fields of the south- 
lands. The areas along the York-Albany Railway were 
settled, as were the coastal lands between Perth and Bun- 
bury. In 1880-1 the State cropped only 57,707 acres, 
but in 1900-1 it had put 201,338 acres under grain. In 
1895 the total area of wheat throughout the Common- 


wealth was 3,500,000 acres. In 1898 the Chambers of 
Commerce in several colonies established definite f.a.q. 
(fair average quality) standards, thereby much assisting 
the wheat farmer. 

In 1915-16 there were 5,796,376 acres under culti- 
vation in New South Wales more than double the acre 
age under crops (2,840,235 acres) in 1905-6. The 
drainage of manhood from the country, due to the war, 
was not compensated for by improved machinery and 
methods, and from 1916 the cultivated area dwindled. 
In new lands under cultivation Tasmania continued a 
steady increase on the 1900 figures, drifting, however, 
more to orchard work and intensive cultivation. In 
1900-1 Victoria was easily the premier grain-growing 
State, having for that year 3,1 14,132 acres, and in 1920- 
21, 4,489,503 acres, under cultivation. Queensland in 
1900-1 had 457,397 acres under cultivation, of which 43 
per cent were under cane-crops. In 1920-21 the cropped 
area rose to 779,497 acres, but of this only 20 per cent 
grew cane. In 1900-1 South Australia had 2,369,680 
acres under cultivation, and in 1920-21 had increased 
these to 3,231,083. 

In 1920-21 there were 145,873,850 bushels of wheat 
grown in Australia, averaging 16.08 bushels per acre. In 
1921-22 the crop had fallen to 128,868,842 bushels, aver 
aging 13.28 bushels to the acre. In 1 922-23 the yield had 
fallen still further, to 109,454,842 bushels, averaging 
11.21 bushels. In 1923-1924 there was an upward ten- 
dency to 124,993,271 bushels, at 13.10 bushels to the 
acre. In 1924-25 that tendency was still maintained, and 
the wheat totalled 164,558,734 bushels, averaging 15-20 

During the same years the net exports of wheat and 
flour were as follows: in 1920-21, wheat, 76,791,883 
bushels, flour, 11,486,250 bushels; 1921-22, wheat, 
99,946,993 bushels, flour, 11,989,915 bushels; 1922-23, 


wheat, 31,510,334 bushels, flour, 18,936,048 bushels; 
1923-24, wheat, 59,910,480 bushels, flour, 24,537,168 

In 1924-25 New South Wales had 3,549,367 acres 
under wheat. In Victoria in the same year 2,705,323 
acres were under that grain. South Australia had 
2,499,852 acres, and Western Australia 1,867,614. 
Queensland grew wheat on 1 89,145 acres, while Tasmania 
sowed only 12,954. 

For the year 1928-29 the Australian wheat crop is 
estimated to produce an exportable surplus of 140,000,000 
bushels, which at 4s. 6d. per bushel will realise 
31,500,000. In New South Wales the Government Sta- 
tistician estimates a crop of 48,000,000 bushels, but un- 
official estimates place the crop as high as 50,000,000 or 
55,000,000 bushels. The Department of Agriculture 
gives the official estimate as 45,000,000. 

The National Bank Magazine estimates that the 
1928-29 Australian wheat crop will produce 30,000,000 
more bushels than in 1927-28. In. placing Victoria's 
wheat-yield at 40,000,000 bushels the journal is giving 
that State credit for an increase of 14,000,000 bushels 
over the 1927-28 crop. In the November issue of the 
same journal the New South Wales wheat crop for 1928- 
29 was estimated at 43,000,000 bushels, but in a later issue 
it is admitted that the estimate was too low. 

In New South Wales the wheat-growing area has 
Increased from under 4,000,000 acres in 1927 to about 
4,500,000 acres for the last season's sowing. All the indi- 
cations point to a much increased sowing for next season. 

The wheat yield in 1927-28 was just under 
28,000,000 bushels. If the 1928-29 crop reaches fifty to 
fifty-five million bushels it will be the second highest 
crop in the State's history, and should return the farmers 
at least 11,000,000. At last sowing, large areas in the 
Lake Cargelligo region and beyond, hitherto regarded as 


waste country, were put down to wheat and yielded 

Maize, wheat, and oats were the first crops grown 
on Australian soil. In the earliest days maize was the 
main cropj later, wheat showed a tendency to usurp its 
place as a grain food. Hitherto the oats crops have never 
threatened the supremacy of wheat. Thomas Cherry, a 
former Victorian Director of Agriculture, considered that 
the oats crop "should be made to fill a much more import- 
ant sphere in farming operations in all parts of the closer 
settlement country than it does at present." 

During the 1900's wheat was a prominent crop in 
New South Wales and South Australia. In Victoria oats 
were grown more extensively than in all the other colo- 
nies put together. Tasmania was always a considerable 
grower of this cereal. 

Though oats are a standard crop in Australia in all 
States, yet at no time in the history of the country has it 
been able to grow enough for its requirements. Since 
1910 the cultivation of this grain has materially increased 
in South Australia and Western Australia. During the 
year 1924-25, New South Wales had 123,517 acres of 
oats in crop, yielding 2,511,400 bushels. Victoria's crop 
was on 517,229 acres and produced 9,572,003 bushels. 
Queensland had only 401 acres under oats and from the 
crop took 63,912 bushels. South Australia took 1,939,415 
bushels from 155,214 acres. Western Australia had 
318,982 acres under oats and drew 4,241,074 bushels j 
while Tasmania took off 1,065,933 bushels from 46,175 

Attempts to acclimatise cotton in Australia have been 
made from the first days of the colony. At that time it 
was considered that the cotton plant was not indigenous to 
the country. It was not until 1847 that it was even sus~ 


pected that a lint-bearing gossypium was native, and it was 
only in 1904 that the plant was discovered on the main- 

The American civil war stimulated the growing of 
cotton in Australia. Between 1862-71 some 26,000,000 
Ib. of cotton were exported, and the area cultivated for 
cotton increased from 320 acres in 1862 to 10,974 acres 
in 1870 and 14,500 acres in 1871. Queensland cultiva- 
tors then began to feel the effects of the renewed Ameri- 
can competition, and from that date cotton-growing began 
to decline, until in 1917 only 87 acres were under culti- 

In 1888 the Queensland Government tried to revive 
the industry by offering a bonus of 5000 to the first 
person or company who manufactured cotton goods to that 
value from fibre grown in the colony. The Ipswich Cot- 
ton Company thereupon established a factory and pro- 
duced the goods, cotton cultivation in the West Moreton 
district being greatly stimulated by its operations. How- 
ever, the firm was obliged to close down in 1897, owing 
to financial difficulties. 

Much valuable information on cotton-growing has 
been acquired by Queensland growers during the past 
twenty years through the experiments initiated and en- 
couraged by the Government. These experiments were 
undertaken not only in Queensland where in 1901 Dr 
Thomatis obtained the hybrid perennial "Caravonica" 
but also in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. 
In 1904 the Curator of the Botanic Garden at Darwin 
(N.T.) reported that, besides the native cotton found at 
the Wildman River, cotton plants of cultivated varieties 
were known in other parts of the Territory. Cotton has 
also been successfully grown in experimental plots in 
Western Australia since the 1 8 80 7 s. The Curator pointed 
out that Northern Australia held one great advantage 
over America in cotton-growing that the Australian crop 


ripened in the dry season, thus obviating the damage by 
rain to which the American crop is subject, and that also 
the strain of picking is lessened. 

The long dry season of 1902 induced the Queens- 
land Department of Agriculture to encourage cotton cul- 
tivation, not only for the lint but also as a fodder-crop. 
In 1903 a Commission was appointed to report whether 
cotton could be grown on a commercial scale by white 
labour. The Commission reported that a profit could be 
made by farmers who cultivated it in easily worked areas 
of from five to ten acres, but that large plantations were 
unsuited to Australian conditions. The Commission added 
that it was unlikely that farmers would begin cultivation 
unless they were guaranteed a minimum price for several 

In the meantime the Federal Government was con- 
sidering cotton-growing in the Northern Territory. The 
inquiries made suggested that before anything could be 
done on a commercial scale in the Territory an experi- 
mental farm should be established at Darwin, from which 
selected seed could be distributed, at first to selected 

The British Cotton-Growing Association, formed in 
1902, investigated conditions in Australia, but were not 
impressed with the possibility of growing cotton with 
white labour. They decided to undertake no work in 
Australia, although prepared, if the State Governments 
would formulate definite schemes, to supply seed and 

In 1907 the Federal Government offered a bounty 
of ten per cent of the market value of cotton grown and 
ginned in Australia, but with little result, only 420 being 
paid in bounties in seven years. 

Cotton-growing was one of the subjects dealt with by 
the Dominions Royal Commission in 1913. The British 
Cotton-growing Association then offered, provided that 


the Australian Governments concerned undertook to make 
experiments in cotton-growing over a period of three 
years, to contribute 100 per annum towards the cost 5 to 
provide seed for experimental purposes j to undertake 
shipment, marketing, etc., and to guarantee a minimum 
net price, in England, of 6^d. per Ib. The Association 
provided that this offer was not to apply to the product 
of perennial varieties or to ratooned cotton, it being of 
the opinion that these classes were unsuitable for spinning 
and gave facility for the increase in cotton pests. 

The Federal Government agreed to make provision 
for an expert to be attached to the Queensland Depart- 
ment of Agriculture to carry out experiments, but for 
some reason this agreement lapsed. During the war the 
area under cultivation slightly increased, the total quan- 
tity of raw cotton received at the Government ginnery 
being 9500 Ib. in 1914, and 166,000 Ib. in 1918. The 
chief deterrent to more extensive cultivation was the high 
cost of picking, especially as the pickers were inexperi- 

The Commonwealth Institute of Science and Re- 
search interested itself in the possibilities of the invention 
of a machine for picking cotton. A Committee was ap- 
pointed in 1917 to carry out experiments, but the results 
obtained were not considered satisfactory. 

During 1919 various indications pointed to the pos- 
sibility of successful cotton-growing. Prices of labour in 
the United States and Egypt were advancing, and ap- 
peared likely to be raised considerably over future years. 
In addition, the Director of the Commonwealth Arsenal 
was interested to obtain from Australia, if possible, suffi- 
cient supplies for the requirements of the cordite f actory. 
From 1913 the Queensland Government had made ad- 
vances of ld. per Ib- on seed cotton (increased to 2d. 
per Ib, in 1918) and had it ginned for the growers, guar- 


anteeing them 5d. for good seed cotton. The bonus 
terminated in 1923. 

The Commonwealth Government now came to the 
assistance of the growers, joining in the guarantee given 
by the Queensland Government, and the British Asso- 
ciation insured it up to 10,000. The British-Australian 
Cotton-growers' Association was organised, and erected 
factories at convenient centres, not only for the ginning 
of the cotton but also for the extraction of seed-oil and 
the manufacture of oil-cake. Additionally, an indepen- 
dent firm had organised a spinning factory, 

In the result, the area under cotton had increased from 
72 acres in 1919 to 40,062 acres in 1925, and the yield 
of unginned cotton for 1925 was over 19,000,000 Ib. 
The guarantee for 1925 was a series of rates from 5^d. 
down to 2^d. according to quality j ratoon cotton was not 
under the guarantee. In spite of the high price of cotton 
in the world's markets, the Queensland Government lost 
over 300,000 on the guarantees, the Commonwealth 
Government sharing the losses. In 1925 the Empire 
Cotton-growing Corporation an English institution de- 
cided to contribute 3000 per annum to the maintenance 
of experimental plantations in Australia. Two such plan- 
tations exist: at Biloela, south of Rockhampton, and at 
Monal, on the Upper Burnett River. 

Louis Hope set sugar-cane growing on a commercial 
basis in Queensland. In 1862-63 he had twenty acres 
under cane in the Moreton Bay District. In 1864 he in- 
troduced kanakas to work on the cane-fields, and in 1867 
was thanked and given a grant of land by the Queensland 
Parliament "for his successful demonstration of the suit- 
ability of the Queensland climate to the growth of sugar- 


In 1864 sugar companies were formed in Brisbane, 
Maryborough, and Mackay. By the end of 1869 there 


were twenty-eight mills crushing the produce of 1230 
acres, 5000 acres in all being under cane. For several 
years there was steady development in the industry, 
till in 1876 the cane-fields were almost destroyed by rust. 
A harder type of cane, maturing in one season, was then 
introduced. At this time the output of sugar was about 
15,000 tons. At the height of the panic and the financial 
crisis brought about by the failure of the crop, McCready, 
of Mackay, demonstrated for five consecutive seasons that 
sugar could be produced at a cost of not more than 10 
per ton, and the industry recovered so completely that in 
1878-79 there was a "boom" in sugar-cane farming. In 
1 883-84 there were 157 mills crushing from 27,792 acres 
(out of a total of 43,367 acres under cane) and producing 
34,148 tons of sugar and 144,073 gallons of rum. 

In 1885 the Queensland Government voted a sum 
of 50,000 for loans towards the erection of Central 
Sugar Mills. The money was to be divided between the 
North Eton and Racecourse Mills, both situated in the 
Mackay district. This loan demonstrated the advisability 
of the Central Mill, for, from the inception of the two 
mills above-mentioned, the large sugar-growing estates 
began to be sub-divided into small farms, of from 50 to 
100 acres each, and leased or sold on reasonable terms, 
thus settling hundreds of small farmers on the land. 

While the erection of central mills did much to en- 
courage the industry, there was yet a period of depression. 
The Queensland Government appointed a Royal Com- 
mission to inquire into the industry and to formulate plans 
to revive and maintain its prosperity. From the reports 
of this Commission the Sugar Works Guarantee Act was 
formed. The Act authorised advances, by way of guar- 
anteed loans, for the establishment of sugar mills. Under 
it a group of farmers can form themselves into a co-opera- 
tive society and, by mortgaging their lands to the Govern- 


ment, obtain the money necessary to erect a mill. The 
mill is their property and has to be worked under their 
management, subject to the lien the Government has over 
it for the repayment of the money advanced for its build- 

The year before the passing of the Sugar Works 
Guarantee Act of 1 893 kanakas had been re-introduced to 
work the cane-fields. They were brought in under strict 
Government supervision, each vessel carrying them hav- 
ing an, accredited Government agent on board. The kan- 
akas were engaged for a term of three years and at the 
end of that term might either be engaged for a further 
term or be repatriated. They were paid a minimum of 
6 per head per annum, with board, lodging, and cloth- 
ing, the value in all being about 37. For the return of 
the islanders the, planters paid 5 per head and 30/- for 
supervision. The latter was later raised to 3. There was 
also a hospital capitation fee of 1 O/-, subsequently raised 
to 1. The kanakas who were re-engaged were termed 
"over-time boys" and were free to make their own agree- 
ments for wages, usually getting from 20 to 30 per 
annum. Kanakas were prohibited from working outside 
the cane-fields areas. 

The employment of thousands of black labourers in 
the cane-fields aroused indignation among the white 
workers. For many years the agitation for the abolition, 
of kanaka labour was great. The whites contended that 
the kanakas took the bread out of their mouths, and the 
planters retorted that, even if white labour could stand 
the tropical heat of the cane-fields and there was sufficient 
of it, the higher rates of pay would make the industry 
unreproductive to the grower who had to face world- 
competition. The deadlock came to an end during the 
first year of Federation, the Commonwealth Government 
terminating kanaka labour after 1904. In 1900-1 


there were 108,535 acres of cane grown in Queensland 
and 92,554 tons of sugar produced. 

During 1902 some 68 per cent of the cane in the 
sugar-growing districts was grown with black labour. In 
1906 over 6000 Polynesians were deported and for a 
time something resembling chaos reigned in the industry. 
Matters gradually became normal, under the bounty of 
2 per ton maximum offered by the Commonwealth 
Government on sugar manufactured from cane grown 
exclusively by white labour. In 1914 only four per cent 
of sugar-cane was produced by coloured labour. In 1912 a 
Sugar Bounty Abolition Act and Sugar Excise Repeal Act 
were passed by the Federal Parliament, to come into force 
whenever the Queensland Parliament should prohibit the 
employment of coloured labour. In 1915 the Common- 
wealth assumed control of the Australian sugar output, 
paying the growers a fixed price 18 per ton, subse- 
quently raised to 21 per ton. The Government disposed 
of the refined product at 25 10s. per ton, the retail price 
being fixed at 3d. per Ib. In 1910-11, 141,779 acres of 
cane were planted and 210,756 tons of sugar produced 
in Queensland. In 1916-17, 167,221 acres were planted 
and 176,973 tons produced. 

In 1920 the Commonwealth Government entered 
into an agreement with the sugar-cane farmers to cover 
the years 1920-22, by which the price of raw sugar was 
fixed at a minimum of 30 6s. 8d. per ton. This raised 
the wholesale price of refined sugar to 49 per ton, with 
a retail price of 6d. per Ib. At the end of the 1922 season 
the agreement was not renewed, but the embargo against 
the employment of black labour was continued for an- 
other two years, on the condition that a pool, free from 
Government control, was formed to buy raw sugar for the 
next season at not more than 27 per ton. In 1923 the 
retail price of sugar was reduced to 4-^d. per Ib. This 
proved satisfactory, and the price of 27 a ton for raw 


sugar was continued for 1924-25, the embargo against 
black labour being continued till June 1925. Later the 
embargo was extended for a period of three years from 
September 1925 by agreement between the Common- 
wealth and Queensland Governments. 

In 1923-24, 219,965 acres of cane were grown in 
Queensland, with a yield of 269,175 tons of sugar. In 
New South Wales, in the same season, the acreage was 
17,315 and the tonnage produced was 16,829. During 
the year 1924-25, 253,519 acres were under cane and 
407,454 tons of sugar were manufactured in Queensland. 

In New South Wales sugar-cane growing was first 
regarded seriously in 1865, when 141 acres of cane 
were planted in the Clarence, Richmond, and Tweed dis- 
tricts. By 1875 the area had increased to 6454 acres and 
fifty mills were in operation. From then on the area 
under cultivation in the State steadily increased, until in 
1895 it reached the total of 33,000 acres, with more than 
a hundred mills crushing. Then came the turn of the 
tide, and the acreage under cane steadily declined, many 
important cane-growing districts being converted to the 
dairying industry. In 1900-1 New South Wales had 
22,1 14 acres of land under cane and the yield was 19,938 
tons. By 1910 this area had been reduced to 14,000 
acres, and in 1919 a further reduction had taken place 
to 10,500 acres the cane-growing being still further 
superseded by dairying and maize growing. From 1919 
on there were signs that sugar-cane was coming back into 
favour in the old growing districts. In 1924-25 there 
were 19,993 acres of cane growing for the production of 
26,682 tons of sugar. 

In Victoria, after the collapse of the beet-growing 
company at Geelong in 1872, little was attempted in the 
industry until 1896 when the Government offered to 
assist a new Company with 100,000. Substantial build- 
ings and plant were erected at Maffra in Gippsland, and 


local landowners guaranteed to grow 1500 acres of beet. 
Two campaigns produced 617 tons and 348 tons of sugar 
respectively, and the plant and buildings then fell into the 
hands of the Government and were closed down. 

Again in 1910 energetic measures were taken in Vic- 
toria to encourage the growth of sugar-beet. Experimen- 
tal plots were grown, lectures instituted, and large areas 
at Boisdale and Kilmany Park both places in railway 
communication with the Maffra Factory were divided 
into small holdings and bounties were offered to growers. 
Since that date there has been continued progress, and the 
last records, with the increase in the price of sugar, showed 
a profit of 8000. Proper irrigation would assure the 
future of an industry which, one grower stated, is more 
profitable than dairying or pig-raising, while requiring 
less capital for its institution. In 1910-1 1, 458 acres pro- 
duced 5969 tons of beet. In 1914-15, 990 acres pro- 
duced 10,343 tons of beet; in 1916-17, 15,159 tons were 
grown on 1320 acres. 

The growing of beet-sugar continued to attract far- 
mers in Victoria. In 1923-24 29,512 tons were pro- 
duced from 1937 acres. In 1924-25 the acreage had 
dropped to 1897, from which 24,468 tons of beet were 
taken* The sugar produced from the 1924-25 crop to- 
talled 3017 tons. In 1923-24 growers were paid 37s. 6d. 
per ton for the beet and the factories realised a profit of 

Tobacco-growing has always been a problem in Aus- 
tralia, in spite of the fact that very good leaf grows over 
many areas in the country. Experiments commenced in 
the early days of New South Wales, yet in 1848 only 
201 acres were planted, producing 309 cwt. of leaf. By 
1851 the area was increased to 731 acres and the leaf 
cropped reached a total of 12,530 cwt.; then followed a 
remarkable falling off in the industry. In 1 854 only eight 
acres were planted. In 1856 there were 218 acres under 


tobacco, with a yield of 2813 cwt. 3 in 1860 the crop had 
enlarged to 9704 cwt, from an area of 240 acres. 

By the year 1860 a number of small tobacco factories 
had been established in New South Wales. There was 
one factory at Port Stephens, three at Dungog, eight at 
Maitland and one each at Petersham and Sydney. The 
quality of the leaf produced was inferior "dark, strong 
tobacco was in favour." 

During the 1880 ? s the industry looked likely 
to take firm root in the colony. In 1881 the area was 
3154 acres, producing 31,708 cwt. of leaf. The area 
increased in 1888 to 6641 acres planted, with a crop of 
70,251 cwt. 5 but this crop was far too large to be absorbed 
by the home market and was not well enough handled for 
export. The growers lost heavily, and the area planted 
the following year, 1889, decreased to 4194 acres, pro- 
ducing 31,847 cwt. of leaf. By 1894 the Government 
awoke to the necessity of stimulating the industry in some 
manner, but the farmers grew steadily fewer, apparently 
not caring for the amount and kind of labour involved in 
proper cultivation, and the industry fell almost entirely 
into the hands of the Chinese resident in the Upper Mac- 
quarie, Upper Namoi, and Tumut districts. In 1900 the 
total area of tobacco cultivation was only 973 acres 199 
acres in New South Wales, 1 09 acres in Victoria, and 665 
acres in Queensland. 

In Queensland tobacco culture received little at- 
tention. In 1865 certain Chinese planted 19 acres. In 
1888 this was increased to 1 17 acres. Then, in 1 899, the 
Government having obtained the services of an expert 
from the United States of America, some 77,571 Ib. more 
leaf was grown than in the preceding year. The tobacco 
industry in Queensland is more or less centred in the 
Texas and Inglewood districts and on the fertile flats of 
the Dumaresque River, extending over the State border 
into New South Wales. Cigar leaf is grown in the 


Bowen district, the Texas product being pipe-tobacco. In 
the State there were only 182 acres under tobacco in 1902, 
but by 1905 the area had grown to 752 acres. 

In Victoria the cultivation of tobacco was left in the 
hands of Asiatics. In 1859 there were 66 acres under 
leaf. By 1878 this had increased to 1936 acres. From 
that date the crops fluctuated largely, the maximum year 
being 1886, when 2031 acres were under cultivation. 

In 1897 the Victorian Government, in an endeavour 
to foster the industry, offered a bonus of 3d. per Ib. on 
locally grown leaf approved for export, but the conditions 
surrounding the offer were too stringent to encourage the 
industry, and in 1901 the offer lapsed. 

Private enterprise established a tobacco plantation in 
1 890 at Rumjungle in the Northern Territory. An ex- 
pert was brought from India to supervise the plantation, 
and for several years tobacco of a high quality was grown, 
some parcels realising 1 Os. 9d. per Ib. When the owner 
of the plantation died, the enterprise was abandoned. 

After the war efforts were made by the Governments 
and the tobacco-buyers to encourage the growth of the 
Australian leaf. An agreement was made between the 
growers and the buyers that in 1925-27 the buyers should 
purchase a minimum of 1400 tons of flue-cured leaf, 
divided as to half from each of the two States then grow- 
ing tobacco Victoria and New South Wales* A sum of 
3700 was to be advanced to the growers for the erection 
of flue-barns, but after the 1925 season no sun-dried leaf 
was to be accepted. In 1924-25 there were 2149 acres 
under tobacco, 719 acres in New South Wales, 1228 acres 
in Victoria, 166 acres in Queensland, and 36 acres in South 
Australia. During the 1923-24 season the amount of 
Australian tobacco used in manufacture was 1,122,825 Ib. 
about seven per cent of the total amount manufac- 


Under rice, Queensland had in 1898 an area of 863 
acres, and reaped an average of 14.19 bushels to the acre. 
In 1899 Northern Queensland produced 14 per cent of 
the Colony's annual consumption, 82 per cent of the 
total yield coming from the Cairns district. In New South 
Wales the cultivation of rice was attempted in 1892 with 
seed imported from the Central Province of India 5 the 
results were discouraging. 

In 1899 there appeared every reason to believe that 
rice had taken stand Beside sugar-cane as a Queensland 
national crop. But by 1900 the area under cultivation 
had fallen to 3 1 9 acres. This decrease was attributed to 
the fact that banana-growing was at that time more re- 

In 1911 New South Wales again tried to grow rice 
commercially, and again the results were disappointing. In 
1916-17 a variety named "Takasuka" was tried at 
Yanco, but unfortunately the growing crop was eaten 
down by locusts. In 1922-23 a further experiment took 
place at the Yanco farm, a large experimental plot being 
sown with a variety named "Wataribune." The results 
this time were favourable, the crop yielding 3223 Ib. 
per acre, as against only 2727 Ib. at the rice-experiment 
station at Crowley, U.S.A., whence the seed had been 

Although banana plants had been grown in Australia from 
the time of the first settlement, little was accomplished 
in establishing the industry until after the year 1890. 
Up to that date, banana cultivation had been confined 
to the frost-free eastern slopes of Queensland and New 
South Wales, but the fruit had been grown successfully 
as far south as Gosford and Newcastle, although the 
results had not warranted the establishment of commer- 
cial plantations. 

Records are in existence of successful banana-grow- 
ing on the north coast of New South Wales before 1 865. 



Queensland has at least three native varieties of 
bananas growing in the rich scrublands of the north, but 
they, are of little food-value. All the bananas cultivated 
in Australia are imported varieties, chiefly the Chinese or 
Cavendish, the Sugar, and the Lady's Finger. 

At the beginning of the twentieth century the in- 
dustry began to assume commercial proportions in 
Queensland. Bananas were first grown in the districts 
around Brisbane, and, taken farther north, flourished 
exceedingly in the Cairns, Innisflil, Tully River, and 
Mulgrave districts, where soil, climate, and rainfall 
are conducive to the production of fine fruit. 

About 1890 banana cultivation had become exten- 
sive in the above districts, where the soil is rich, and 
heavily timbered. In the early days of the industry in 
these districts the owners of the land, wishing to save 
the cost of expensive clearing, leased the ground to 
Chinese for terms of years. The Chinese cleared the 
land and planted the bananas, reaping very heavy har- 
vests, since the ground was full of potash and the banana 
is a gross feeder. When the Chinese leases expired and 
the owners took possession of what they believed to be 
fruitful plantations, the crops began to fall off, for 
the plants had taken most of the food out of the earth. 
Many growers were unwilling to pay for manures} 
others did not realise the extent of manuring required by 
this plant. The plantations began to fail. Lack of suffi- 
cient food in the soil brought disease and finally the root- 
boring worm appeared. At the beginning of the year 
1900 the industry gave every sign of being wiped out 5 
the owners pulled up the plants and put the land under 

The total banana crop for 1924-25 was valued at 
831,285, grown on 15,005 acres. The plantations 
suffered severe loss in 1922-23 through a disease known 
as <c bunchy~top." In 1924 another previously unidenti- 


fied organism was discovered in the roots, corms, and 
leaves of the affected plants, and this is being experi- 
mented upon as a possible source of the disease. 

While coffee grows extremely well in the warm north- 
eastern corner of New South Wales, it has rarely 
been grown commercially in Australia. In many of the 
coastal districts of Queensland coffee was planted about 
1890 and grew to perfection, but in consequence of the 
labour troubles and the low prices realised many planters 
abandoned the experiment. A few plantations continued 
to grow coffee until well into the 1 890 ? s. 

From 1890 onwards a few coffee plantations existed 
in Northern Queensland, struggling against adversity. 
The maximum plantings, so far, have reached 547 acres. 
This was in 1901-2. In 1908 there were 285 acres 
under crop, producing 116,293 Ib. of (Parchment) 
coffee. The chief producing areas, in those years, were 
Cairns, Maroochy, Mackay, and Maryborough. From 
1908 there has been a consistent diminution of the 
planted area. 

During the period immediately following the separa- 
tion of Queensland from New South Wales the former 
colony grew maize extensively. Nearly the whole of the 
crop was, and is, grown in the Moreton Bay, Darling 
Downs, Wide Bay, and Atherton districts. In 1909 the 
State Department of Agriculture acclimatised a large 
number of varieties from America. Both in Queensland 
and New South Wales the Governments supplied seed to 
the farmers, purchased, classified, and graded their pro- 
duce, and distributed seed for the next growing, season 
after season. In Victoria the area under maize, though 
smaller than in New South Wales, was more productive. 
With the aid of fertilisers good results were obtained from 
the sandy soil along the coast-line. 


In 1924-25 Queensland had 229,160 acres under 
crop for a yield of 7,330,827 bushels, valued at 
1,435,619. New South Wales had slightly more than 
half that area under cultivation, and from 146,564 acres 
took 4,208,200 bushels of the value of 824,106. Vic- 
toria, the third largest maize-growing State, had only 
23,126 acres in crop and gathered 891,987 bushels, of the 
value of 189,547. Western Australia put only 71 acres 
under the grain, for a crop of 333 bushels. The Federal 
Territory sowed 21 acres for a yield of 420 bushels, and 
South Australia only seven acres, producing 276 bushels. 

The average acre-yield of maize for the Common- 
wealth for the ten years 1914-24 was 24.59 bushels j 
compared with the crops in the United States of America 
(the principal maize-growing country of the world) it 
is lower by 4.73, but compared with that of other countries 
it is very satisfactory. A small but fluctuating trade in the 
export and import of maize is entirely dependent on the 
success or failure of the local crop. In 1915-16 nearly 
4,500,000 bushels were imported; in 1923-24 the excess 
of imports over exports was 2,534,891 bushels. The ex- 
port trade in corn-flour is, for the time, small. In 1924-25 
it was 19,177 lb., valued at 490. A moderate amount 
is imported annually, the principal sources of supply being 
Great Britain and the United States. The imports for 
1924-25 were 299,198 lb., valued at 5273. 

A total of 346,091 tons of potatoes were grown in 
Australia during the year 1924-25. Of this Victoria grew 
nearly half, her acreage being 61,196, with a yield of 
169,863 tons. Tasmania was the next largest grower, 
and from 32,109 acres took 82,094 tons. New South 
Wales came third with 23,044 acres, growing 49,485 
tons. The other States Queensland, South Australia, 
and Western Australia between them grew 44,649 tons 
on an area of 16,691 acres. 


An attempt to introduce hop-growing into Victoria 
was made in 1883. An area of 1758 acres was planted 
and proved fairly successful} but the cultivation apparent- 
ly did not appeal to the Victorian farmers and the area 
planted dwindled until in 1917 only 87 acres were under 

In Tasmania hop-growing has always been success- 
ful. From 1870 onwards production fell little short of 
1,000,000 lb., annually. In the 1880's high prices for 
hops stimulated planting to such an extent that over-pro- 
duction occurred, bringing down prices and nearly ruining 
the industry. 

The total area of hops planted for the season 1924-25 
was 1806 acres, of which 1494 were in Tasmania and 269 
in Victoria. The imports during this year exceeded ex- 
ports by 157,424 lb., of a value of 12,967. 


UP to 1850 New South Wales was the principal vine- 
growing colony. Three of the vineyards planted in the 
early days of the colony are still producing Kirkton, near 
Singleton, was planted in 1830 5 Dal wood, near Maitland, 
also in the thirties 5 Bukulla, in New England, was planted 
about 1848-49. Victoria in 1860 had 1138 acres of vines 
and steadily extended her area until 1887, when phyl- 
loxera called a temporary check. In 1880 she had 5000 
acres under vines, and in 1885 nearly 10,000. In South 
Australia the progress of the industry was steadier, en- 
countering no checks through disease. 

Wine-making has kept pace with the extension of the 
vineyards. In 1803 a small quantify of poor wine was 
made near Sydney. In 1823 Gregory Blaxland, the ex- 
plorer, succeeded in making good wine at his farm on the 
Parramatta River and was awarded medals by the English 


Royal Society of Arts. James King's wines secured Euro- 
pean recognition, and in 1854 South Australian wines 
were praised at the Paris Exhibition. At the Melbourne 
Exhibition of 1 88 1 the German Emperor offered a trophy 
to "an exhibitor of one of the Australian colonies as an 
acknowledgment of the efforts in promoting Art and 
Industry shown by the high qualities of the goods manu- 
factured by the exhibitor/' The trophy was won by the 
St. Hubert vineyard. 

Australia had 6237 acres of vineyards in 1860-61. 
By the year 1865-66 these had increased to 13,577} in 
1870-71 to 17,227} in 1875-76 there were 15,563 acres; 
in 1880-81 15,515} and in 1885-86, 22,271. 

In 1920-21 viticulture occupied a total area within 
the Commonwealth of 81,165 acres, of which South Aus- 
tralia had 36,661} Victoria 29,255} New South Wales 
10,783} Western Australia 3210, and Queensland 1256. 
For the season 1924-25 the area had grown to 91,314 
acres for the Commonwealth. Of this South Australia 
grew 43,361 acres and produced 10,502,381 gallons of 
wine, 1156 tons of grapes, and 248,831 cwt. of raisins 
and currants. Victoria, from 31,723 acres of vines pro- 
duced 1,368,765 gallons of wine, 2672 tons of grapes, 
and 471,943 cwt. of raisins and currants. New South 
Wales from its 10,95,4 acres of vineyards produced 
1,171,264 gallons of wine, 3590 tons of grapes, and 
24,133 cwt. of raisins and currants. Western Australia, 
from 4139 acres, produced 223,761 gallons of wine, 
2069 tons of grapes, and 20,529 cwt. of raisins and cur- 
rants. Queensland the only State with fewer vines in 
1924-25 than in 1920-21 produced from 1137 acres 
33,1 19 gallons of wine and 961 tons of grapes. 



THE Illawarra district has, from the early days o 
the colony, been recognised as the most important dairying 
centre. Gradually the industry spread from that centre 
southwards into the districts of Ulladulla, Moruya, and 
Bega, until almost a whole county became devoted to the 

At Shoalhaven, Alexander Berry formed a fine herd 
of dairy cattle and in 1 849 exported considerable quanti- 
ties of butter to California. The spread of the industry 
evolved a good-class dairy-cattle, known as the Illawarra 
Shorthorn probably from crossings of Ayrshires with 
milking Shorthorns. 

During the 1850's butter sometimes sold as high as 
2s. 6d. to 3s. per Ib. wholesale} but in the summer months 
the prices fell, sometimes as low as to 6d. per Ib. Then 
butter was exported to the other colonies, principally Vic- 
toria. The export of butter during 1853 was 79,990 
Ib., valued at 6636. "The progress of dairying from 
1852 to 1883," writes J. P. Dowling, "was made under 
the old system, advances being made at Bodalla, south 
of Moruya, by the late Thomas Mort, and by Messrs. 
Fox, Tooth, and Wren and other energetic settlers at 
Bega. In these districts were established factories fur- 
nished with all the best American cheese-making appli- 
ances, and the South Coast soon obtained a great and 
lasting reputation for cheese and bacon." 

The introduction of cream separators at Mittagong 
by the Fresh Food and Ice Company in 1881, and of the 
co-operative factory system at Kiama in 1884, greatly pro- 
moted the industry. D. L. Dymock, of Kiama, had been 
for years advocating co-operation and herd-testing. For 
the purpose of acquiring oversea methods of dairying he 


travelled extensively in Europe and America and brought 
to Australia the first Laval cream separator. The co- 
operative factory system gradually gained adherents. In 
1888, eight factories were working, each costing from 
1500 to 2000, and taking milk from an average of 
fifty dairymen. About this year butter was exported to 
London in the cool chambers of the mail steamers and was 
sold at from lO^d. to Is. per Ib. This experiment stimu- 
lated the industry in a remarkable manner. It was fol- 
lowed by exports to Queensland, Western Australia, Bata- 
via, Calcutta, Bombay, Singapore, and Hong Kong. 

In 1891 the quantity of butter made in New South 
Wales under the old system was 10,484,4-74 Ib., and that 
made in factories 8,049,656 Ib. A year later (1900) 
the old system produced only 4,216,134 Ib., while the 
factories produced 18,817,747 Ib. In 1891 there were 
124 butter factories to which milk was delivered, there 
being no local creameries and home separators. In 1900 
there were 168 butter factories and 387 creameries in 
the State. 

At the end of the year 1888 there was a remarkable 
development in dairying in the sub-tropical Richmond 
River district. This district had been, up to then, chiefly 
occupied with the growing of sugar-cane, but the great 
fall in the price of sugar ruined many, and the Govern- 
ment, when appealed to, suggested dairying as an alterna- 
tive industry. Much of the country was cleared and dairy 
cattle were obtained, mostly from the south-coast districts. 
New settlers arrived 5 co-operative butter factories and 
creameries were established, and in a few years the largest 
butter factory in the world was in full operation in the 
Byron Bay district. 

General dairying instruction was provided for farm- 
ers and their families by the New South Wales Govern- 
ment in 1902. A travelling dairy was equipped and sent 
on a tour of the State. A well-equipped dairy for the 


instruction of students was provided at the Hawkesbury 
Agricultural College. Similar provisions for instruction 
were made at the Wagga, Bathurst, Richmond River, 
Grafton, and other experimental farms. A Dairy Stud 
Farm was established at Berry, in the Illawarra district, 
with dairy cattle of the best breeds, obtained from Eng- 
land. An expert in cheese-making travelled round the 
agricultural districts, giving instruction in the making of 
high-class cheese. 

In New South Wales the Dairying Industry is chiefly 
regulated by the Dairies' Supervision Act of 1901. Dairy- 
men, milk-vendors, and the proprietors of creameries and 
dairy factories must be registered. Inspections are made 
by District Inspectors under the supervision of a Chief 

Little legislation was enacted in Australia for the 
Dairying Industry during the period 191 9-2 8 . The trade 
was well established and making good progress. Within 
the Commonwealth there were 2,055,638 dairy cows in 
1920 as against 2,444,637 in 1925. During the same 
period the production of milk increased from 623,285,221 
gallons to 862,393,709, that of butter from 208,081,864 
Ib. to 313,959,291, and of cheese from 24,150,534 Ib. 
to 31,442,292. Only in the production of concentrated, 
condensed, and powdered milk was there any retrogres- 
sion. Between 1910 and 1920 this part of the industry 
rose from 12,491,261 Ib. to 70,944,482, but by 1925 the 
production had dropped to 62,009,230 Ib. 

Of the above figures New South Wales produced 
in 1921-25 from an annual average of 797,890 dairy 
cows; 260,975,000 gallons of milk} 89,711,932 Ib. of 
butter; 6,518,285 Ib. of cheese; and 7,661,191 Ib. of 
condensed, concentrated, or powdered milk. 

A Commission appointed by the Victorian Govern- 
ment reported that the Victorian farmers were slower to 
adopt new methods than their brethren in the Illawarra 


district of New South Wales, and, to stimulate production, 
recommended that bonuses should be given for butter and 
cheese manufacture, and that model dairies should be 
established for demonstration. The recommendations 
were adopted by the Government, and throughout the 
colony co-operative butter factories were established. In 
1889-90 the production of butter for export from Victoria 
amounted to only 828,882 Ib. By 1892-93 it had in- 
creased to 8,099,258. The cheese industry had also 
developed largely, especially in the Western District and, 
to a lesser extent, in Gippsland. To encourage this 
branch of the dairying industry the Government obtained 
the services of a Canadian expert. In 1890 a factory 
was established at Bacchus Marsh for the manufactuie 
of preserved and concentrated milk on a commercial scale. 
By the end of the century the earlier Shorthorn and 
Hereford cattle were being gradually replaced or crossed 
with Ayrshires, Jerseys, and other dairy breeds. At the 
same time the work of cutting up large estates for dairy- 
ing purposes was accelerated. 

Queensland did not turn serious attention to dairying 
until 1888, when the Government obtained the services 
of a dairy expert. A well-equipped travelling dairy was 
purchased and instruction given to farmers who desired to 
extend their activities into this industry. At this time 
there were barely half a dozen cream-separators in the 
colony, and there was no modernly equipped factory for 
either cheese or butter- Progress was steady, and by 1 895 
the importation of butter and cheese into the State had 
practically ceased. 

Queensland farmers quickly took up the dairying in- 
dustry as illustrated by the Government expert with the 
travelling dairy. In 1888 the amount of butter pro- 
duced in the colony was 1,500,000 Ib. By 1894 it had 
reached nearly 5,000,000 Ib., together with 1,536,997 
Ib. of cheese. The chief dairying districts were Warwick, 


Brisbane, and Toowoomba. The first experiment in ex- 
porting cool-storage butter from Queensland was made 
in 1895, some seven and a half tons being shipped. Fur- 
ther to encourage dairying a tax was levied on dairy cattle, 
the proceeds being used for the erection of butter and 
cheese factories, or for a bonus on the industry. In 1 896- 
97 some 63 tons of butter were exported. During the 
next season the Dairy Expert reported that dairy cattle 
had increased in value at least 70 per cent during the 
year, and that land, previously unused because unfit for 
agriculture, was carrying dairy herds. Steps had been 
taken to improve the herds, but the supply of well-bred 
cattle was very inadequate. 

During the year 1900 there were 53 butter and cheese 
factories and 146 creameries in the State, employing 595 
persons. The output for that year was 5875 tons of 
butter and 886 tons of cheese, the total value being 
656, 177 5 620 tons of butter were exported. At that 
time Queensland dairy produce had to be sent to Sydney 
by intercolonial steamers and there transhipped into the 
European boats. 

The Queensland Dairy Produce Act of 1905 revolu- 
tionised the industry. It provided not only for the in- 
spection of dairies, dairy-farms, and factories, but for the 
appointment of Grading Inspectors to classify butter in- 
tended for export. In 1908 an Amending Act insisted 
that cream should be graded for manufacture into dif- 
ferent qualities of butter, and that no person should be 
allowed to grade cream until he had obtained a certificate 
of proficiency. 

A year or two earlier the necessity for transhipping 
in Sydney dairy produce intended for England was 
avoided by inducing the Orient Line of mail steamers to 
call at Brisbane, the Government paying a subsidy of 
26,000 per annum. 

In 1920 the Government passed a Dairy Produce 


Act applying to the whole of the Queensland coast from 
Rockhampton southwards, as well as to the Darling 
Downs, Maranoa, Mackay, and Cairns districts. It is 
administered by the Department of Agriculture, and under 
it, in certain proclaimed areas, the sale of milk is confined 
to persons licensed under the Act of 1917. The sale 
is supervised by Inspectors from the Department of 

A large proportion of the Queensland industry is 
undertaken on the share-system. At Toogoolawah, in the 
Brisbane valley, a condensed milk company has six model 
farms, comprising 4000 acres, of which 1200 are under 
cultivation for maize, lucerne, millet, and other grains. 
The average annual figures for the period 1921-25 are: 
Dairy Cows, 565,364; milk, 139,784,080 gallons; butter, 
56,257,563 Ib.; cheese, 11,611,324 Ib.; and condensed, 
concentrated, or powdered milk, 11,355,319 Ib. 

Butter and cheese have been Tasmanian products and 
exports since before 1858. According to M. H. Hull, 
butter and cheese were exported from Tasmania about that 
time to the value of 16,000 per annum, the price of 
butter averaging 2s. per Ib. The stock cattle used were 
Ayrshires, Herefords, and Devons. "These animals," 
he writes, "are taking the place of the cross between the 
bison and Brahmin cows which we used to have, and which 
had to be knocked down with a long pole and roped head 
and feet before they could be milked. At one time it 
was no unusual thing for the milkman, after a turn of 
seven miles in the bush, to be tossed in the air by one 
cow and his shins kicked by another before he could suc- 
ceed in inducing her to part with the usual pint of milk 
for the family's breakfast." 

For many years Tasmania was backward in develop- 
ing the dairying industry. In 1903 there were only 
fifteen butter factories, producing less than a million 
pounds of butter, and the output of cheese was little more 


than half-a-million pounds. But after 1900 the State 
awoke to the possibilities o the industry. At first pro- 
gress was slow, but by 1920 long steps had been taken* 
The average annual figures for the period 1921-25 are: 
Dairy Cows, 68,567; milk, 20,808,000 gallons; butter, 
5,528,124 lb.j cheese, 1,049, 549 Ib. 

South Australia made an improvement in dairying 
matters about 1885, when the Government began to assist 
farmers by instruction in dairying methods and facilitating 
the export of dairy produce. In 1890 the colony ex- 
ported to England some 10,850 Ib. of butter; in the fol- 
lowing year it doubled the supply. By 1893-94 it was 
producing nearly six millions pounds of butter and nearly 
a million pounds of cheese. In 1 896-97 the approximate 
quantities of butter and cheese were respectively 9,000,000 
Ib. and 1,750,000 Ib. The average annual figures for 
the period 1921-25 are: Dairy Cows, 130,819; milk, 
42,231,276 gallons; butter, 14,883,999 Ib.; cheese, 
3,176,368 Ib. 

An official Western Australian report in 1 891 recom- 
mended dairying as an industry that could be followed 
with advantage in the coastal area of the State from the 
Moore River to Cape Leeuwin, and inland to the dividing 
range. But as late as 1911 the industry remained prac- 
tically undeveloped, though during 1910 butter to the 
value of 342,771, preserved milk valued at 78,492, 
and cheese worth 36,805 had to be imported, In June 
1912 the Chief Inspector of Stock reported that dairy- 
cattle in the State had diminished by about 3000 head 
in the one year. To encourage settlers to take an interest 
in dairying the Government established a State farm at 
Brunswick where pure Ayrshires are kept and bred. The 
numbers of dairy cattle in the State were small until 
1916, when the returns showed that there were 33,788. 
Then followed more rapid development* The Public 
Health authorities regulate the dairying industry; the 


premises of dairymen and milk-vendors are supervised 
and registered by the Health Inspector 5 officers of the 
Department of Agriculture examine herds at regular in- 
tervals and apply the tuberculin test where disease is in- 
dicated. For 1921-25 the figures of the average annual 
output in the State are: Dairy Cows, 59,587, milk, 
12,898,974 gallons; butter, 2,848,202 Ib. 


FOR nearly a hundred years after Governor Phillip 
landed in Australia fruit-growing was considered of little 
account as an industry. Yet throughout the settled por- 
tions of the country fruit grew in abundance. In the 
southern part of the east coast (Queensland) bananas and 
pine-apples throve and proved adaptable along the warm 
coastal belt as settlement moved northwards. The mango, 
passion-fruit, granadilla, paw-paw, guava, orange, apple, 
peach, and plum were also quickly acclimatised. In New 
South Wales the county of Cumberland and neighbour- 
hood as far as the Kurrajong on the west and Gosford 
on the north proved the chief fruit-growing districts, 
citrus fruits predominating. Tropical fruits were grown 
in the north-coast district and cherries throve in the 
Orange district and in the colder areas of the tablelands. 
Apples, pears, peaches, plums, apricots, and melons were 
widely distributed. Loquats were grown as a breakwind 
as well as for the fruit. 

In Victoria, the apple, peach, plum, apricot, cherry, 
and pear were the principal varieties grown, while rasp- 
berries, gooseberries, and currants were cultivated in the 
cool elevated districts. In Tasmania apples were the main 
cropj currants, raspberries, and gooseberries were widely 
distributed. Some pears and plums were also grown. 
In South Australia, the apple, pear, cherry, prune, and 


the berry fruits grew well in the highlands around Mt. 
Lofty and Barossa, in the ranges behind Port Pirie, and 
in the south-east. Citrus and stone-fruits grew well on 
the plains and in the low-hill country. Olives had been 
grown from truncheons sent out from Marseilles in 1844, 
and at the Intercolonial Exhibition of 1851 had received 
honourable mention for clearness, colour, and flavour of 
the oil. Olive culture did not flourish to any great 
extent until the Government published a pamphlet on the 
subject written by W. R. Boothby after a tour through 
the olive-growing districts of Europe. In Western Aus- 
tralia, the apple, orange, peach, pear, plum, fig, and apri- 
cot were chiefly grown. 

Exports overseas were non-existent until 1880, when, 
from the county of Cumberland in New South Wales, at- 
tempts were made to open up an overseas trade, the first 
consignment being a cask of oranges and lemons success- 
fully forwarded to Dublin. In spite of the success of 
this venture the risks of transport were too great for the 
experiment to be developed commercially, and export 
languished. The initiative in the commercial export of 
fruit was taken by Tasmania, when improvements in re- 
frigerating machines permitted the harder fruits to be 
shipped without injury. In 1884, 100 cases of apples 
were shipped from Hobartj in 1887, over 4000 cases 
were sent oversea; before 1914 the trade had grown to 
nearly a million cases annually. 

The introduction of irrigation into Victoria and New 
South Wales had a marked influence upon the fruit-grow- 
ing industry. Irrigation settlements, devoted primarily 
to fruit-growing and viticulture, have been developed 
along the Murray Valley and in the areas watered by the 
Goulburn in Victoria, the Murrumbidgee in New South 
Wales, and private irrigation schemes in the south- 
west of Western Australia. To find an outlet for the 
products of these districts attempts were made to open up 


home and oversea markets for fresh citrus and canned and 
dried fruits, on the demand for which the future of the 
irrigation settlements depended. The irrigation districts 
are producing good citrus fruit. The Washington navel 
orange has been specially cultivated along the Murray 
and Murrumbidgee. Choice oranges are also grown by 
irrigation from the artesian bore at Pera, near Bourke. 
The overseas orange market is on the way to being firmly 
established. The Australian growers were extremely 
fortunate in that oranges shipped in July-September 
could be placed on an empty market in Great Britain. 
In addition to the citrus industry the settlers are devoting 
special attention to canning and dried fruits. 

In 1922 the Commonwealth Government called a 
conference of representatives of the fruit-growing indus- 
try. The result was the creation of a Federal Fruit 
Council, with an Advisory Board in each State to advise 
the Governments of the Commonwealth and the States on 
all matters relating to the business. In 1925, the Fruit- 
growers' Federation eulogised the work of the CounciJ 
and the Boards. 

In 1924-25 the areas devoted to fruit-growing in 
Australia totalled 276,904 acres, of which 73,972 were in 
New South Wales, 83,358 in Victoria, 31,738 in Queens- 
land, 33,329 in South Australia, 18,520 in Western Aus- 
tralia, and 33,992 in Tasmania. 

The net export of fresh fruits in 1925-26 was 
146,444,200 lb., with a value of 1,518,697. In 1918- 
19 only 7,152,600 lb, had been exported, valued at 
98,347. The expansion was due to the development of 
the overseas markets and the decline of imports, due 
mainly to the protective tariff on Fiji bananas. In 1924- 
25 the Commonwealth produced 6,638,459 bushels of 
apples, valued at 2,379,247, and of pears 1,632,267 
bushels, valued at 403,325. 

The net export of dried fruits in 1925-26 was 


43,641,537 lb., returning 1,321, 495. The net export 
of jams and jellies was in the same year 2,474,941 lb. 
worth 73,634, a large decrease since 1918-19, when 
military orders were still being placed in Australia, 

Towards the latter part of 1928 an Australian firm 
sent a consignment of concentrated orange and lemon 
juice to London. The market rushed it. The firm re- 
ceived by cable an order for 5000 gallons, together with 
an intimation that further business would follow. This 
was significant in view of the fact that Australia has over- 
produced citrus fruits and that, unless a demand for them 
or their products is created in other countries, there will 
be considerable loss. There is little opportunity of ship- 
ping fruits to England and Europe, because of the close 
proximity of other citrus fruit-growing countries, but 
there is a great opportunity of shipping fruit- juices, es- 
pecially when concentrated five to one. This saves large 
freights and containers. It is possible that in the future 
there will be a great outlet for citrus fruit products from 
Australia, bringing in foreign money and giving employ- 
ment to many. 


BEE-FARMING has made little progress in Australia except 
in Victoria, where legislation has been passed to organ- 
ise bee-pastures. The Forest Department administers 
the Act. A bee-farm site is an area of up to ten 
acres. A bee range is an area of a mile radius from the 
bee-farm, to be used as a foraging ground. The bee- 
farmer rents the tops of the trees onlyj he has no rights 
over the land or the grass. 

The return of honey from productive hives during 
the year 1924-25 gave an average of 74 lb. of honey per 
hive. This yield is second only to that of the 1917-18 



season, when the figure rose to 76 Ib. In 1919-20 the 
yield per hive was very low, but 1920-21 was, judging 
by the records of a number of years, fairly normal. 


AGRICULTURAL Education was instituted by the New 
South Wales Government during the year 1888. A 
Department of Agriculture was founded, establishing a 
complete system of Government farm-schools, apprentice- 
schools, experiment farms, and demonstration farms 
throughout the colony, with a complete head Agricultural 
College at Richmond, on the Hawkesbury River. The 
college is the largest in Australia, providing for some 200 
resident students. The farm has an area of 3440 acres, 
of which about 1000 are under cultivation. At an addi- 
tional farm of about 116 acres of rich alluvial soil on the 
banks of the Hawkesbury River a complete system of irri- 
gation is carried out in order to train students who intend 
to take up farming in the irrigation districts. 

The South Australian Government established an 
Agricultural College at Roseworthy in 1885. It opened 
with fifteen students and soon became popular. The 
college has about 2000 acres, 100 acres being under vines 
and fruit-trees, and the rest divided between experimental 
work, general farming, and live-stock raising. 

In Victoria an Agricultural College was established 
in 1885 at Dookie, on the fringe of the Goulburn Valley, 
between Shepparton and Benalla. It has an area of 5920 
acres. Another college has been established at Longere- 
nong in the Wimmera District, eight miles from Hor- 
sham, with an attached farm of 2386 acres. Both 
colleges have ov^r 1000 acres under cultivation. The 
revenue from 155,480 acres of Crown Lands is set apart 
for the upkeep of these institutions, which are controlled 


by a Council of eleven members five nominated by the 
Governor-in-Council and five elected by Agricultural 
Societies in the State. The Director of the Department 
of Agriculture is an ex-officio member of the Council and 
its Treasurer. Dookie has accommodation for 100 stu- 
dents, Longerenong for 52; approximately 2000 have 
passed through these colleges. 

During 1895 the Queensland Government founded 
a College for Agricultural Education at Gatton, on the 
main southern line about 55 miles south of Brisbane. It 
has accommodation for 60 resident students. In 1923 
the College was re-organised as the Queensland Agricul- 
tural High School, and was placed under the Department 
of Public Instruction, which feeds it from the State Rural 
Schools, Boys are admitted from the age of fourteen,, 
or earlier in exceptional circumstances. There are senior 
and junior courses of three years each, and in their sixth 
year the students specialise in either dairying or agricul- 
ture. At the apex of the system is the University course 
in Agriculture. The College farm comprises 1 692 acres, 
800 of which are under cultivation. Particular attention 
is paid to dairying and to the building up of pure-bred 
herds of Jerseys and Illawarra Shorthorns. 

In 1914 Western Australia established a School of 
Agriculture at the Narrogin State Farm, situated on the 
Great Southern Railway some 162 miles from Perth. 
The College provides a two years' course for seventy re- 
sident pupils from fourteen to sixteen years of age. The , 
aim is to impart a sound general education as well as the 
skill necessary to make efficient farmers. 


THE development of Irrigation Schemes in Australia 
was retarded for many years by the opposition of 


persons holding riparian interests, private irrigators not 
having even such security of priority right in using river 
waters for irrigation purposes as obtained in the Western 
States o America up to a few years ago. Consequently, 
except for the primitive irrigation by Chinese market- 
gardeners, little interest was taken in the development of 
irrigation until 1884, when Commissions were appointed 
by the Governments of Victoria and New South Wales to 
inquire into water conservation and irrigation. 

The Victorian Commission delegated its Chairman, 
Alfred Deakin, to visit the Western States of America 
and there examine irrigation methods. His report, sub- 
mitted in 1885, formed the basis of the Victorian Irriga- 
tion Act of 1886, which vested all riparian interests in the 
Crown, and made provision for the declaration of Dis- 
tricts most suitable for irrigation and for the construction 
of head-works of a national character. Further, it made 
it competent for the Government to advance capital re- 
quired for local works to trusts formed by the settlers 
in suitable districts. These trusts were empowered to 
levy upon irrigated lands rates that would cover interest 
charges at four and a half per cent and a sinking fund of 
one and a half per cent. 

In 1887 irrigation works were started at Mildura 
on the Murray River, in the heart of the mallee country. 
Two blocks of land of about 25,000 acres each were made 
available to the Chaffey Brothers, and they erected a Siki 
plant which, with its four 6-inch pumps, lifted water from 
the Murray into a lagoon whence it gravitated to the re- 
quired levels to irrigate 12,000 acres. 

The area is administered by the First Mildura Irri- 
gation Trust, which was constituted in 1895. Holdings 
under the early settlement schemes varied from 400 to 
600 acres and were too large for intensive cultivation. 
It was estimated, for example, that only half the water 
from the Goulburn works was. utilised. 


The schemes in the Goulburn-Loddon Districts were 
developed by trusts. At the beginning of 1900 arrange- 
ments had been made to intercept the Goulburn by a weir 
forty feet in height, and to divert the summer supply 
into two channels. Similar works had been erected in 
this district on the Campaspe and Loddon rivers and on 
the south bank of the Murray. In the total, arrangements 
for diverting 294,000 cubic feet per minute from the 
Murray and its tributaries had been completed either 
directly by, or with the sanction of, the Victorian Govern- 
ment. Owing to the irregularity of the flow, the scheme 
was only partially successful, since preparations for the 
distribution of the water had been made before it had 
been conserved. 

Work on the Waranga reservoir was therefore be- 
gun, but before it was completed the trusts were in 
financial difficulties, and the Victorian Government de- 
cided to Administer directly all irrigation schemes except 

By the Victorian Water Act of 1905, a State Rivers 
and Water Supply Commission was established. The 
most important works under its control are connected with 
the Goulburn River Gravitation Scheme, which supplies 
an area of 870,000 acres in the valleys of the Goulburn, 
Campaspe, and Loddon, for irrigation, domestic purposes, 
or stock watering. 

During 1925-26 the area irrigated in Victoria was 
343,685 acres, of which 116,753 were under lucerne, 
95,327 were growing cereals and annual fodder crops > 
69,108 acres held vineyards, orchards, and gardens j and 
the rest were pastures, etc. In addition to the land irrigated 
there were large areas in the north-west (principally in 
the Wimmera and Mallee districts) supplied with water 
for domestic and stock purposes. The total area of 
country lands artificially supplied with water for these 


purposes during! 1925-26 was 14,400,000 (acres. In 
1924-25 the Shepparton Co-operative Canning Factory 
put up 526,000 dozen cans of fruit from irrigation areas, 
and during the past five years the supply of fruit has in- 
creased to so great an extent that co-operative companies 
have been formed at Ardmona and Kyabram. The 
number of water-acres supplied during 1924-25 was 
39,212. Over 26,000 acres were under vines 18,515 
in bearing. The yield was: grapes, 82,019 tons 5 raisins, 
3191 tons 5 sultanas, 1186 tons; currants, 4654 tons. 
Wine totalling 393,720 gallons was made. 

The Royal Commission on Irrigation appointed by 
the New South Wales Government in 1 884 sat until 1887 
and issued three reports. Little was done apart from con- 
stituting the Municipal Councils of Wentworth, Hay, 
and Balranald as Irrigation Trusts for the erection of 
pumping plants and the construction of distributory chan- 
nels in their districts. 

In 1896 the New South Wales Government took 
over all riparian rights for irrigation purposes, provision 
being made for the issue of licences to private irrigators. 
In the following year ( 1 897) a distinguished Indian officer 
visited the colony with a Commission from the Govern- 
ment to report on certain proposals for irrigation works. 
He selected the Murray and Murrumbidgee as rivers on 
which projects might prove successful. A Water and 
Drainage Act provided, inter alia, for the expenditure of 
1,000,000 on the construction of hydraulic works within 
the succeeding five years and an Act of 1906 empowered 
the Government to begin work on the Murrumbidgee. 
This comprised a concrete dam across the Murrumbidgee 
River at Burrinjucfc, with a maximum depth of storage 
of 200 feet and a capacity of 771,641 acre-feetj a 
movable diversion weir across the Murrumbidgee at 
Berembed, forty miles up-stream from Narrandera, in- 
cluding a lock, sluice-way, and fifty-five chanoine wickets, 


which can be lowered to pass freshets. The main canal, 
with a capacity of 2000 cubic feet per second, takes off 
from the river immediately above the weir and extends 
for a distance of over ninety miles to below the town 
of Griffith. There are numerous subsidiary canals for 
serving the irrigation areas, together with bridges and 
other structures, roadways to each farm, and a general 
surface drainage system. Butter, bacon, and canning 
factories have been provided for treating the products 
of the areas, which are chiefly used for the growth of fruit 
and for dairying. 

In the meantime small irrigation areas at Curlwaa 
and Hay were completed and served by pumping 
from the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers. The Curl- 
waa system has a pumping capacity of 12,500 gallons 
per minute. During 1925-26 some 5493 acre-feet of 
water were supplied. The length of the main channels 
is about ten miles. The machinery at Hay is capable 
of pumping 4000 gallons of water per minute. During 
1925-26 some 3270 acre-feet of water were supplied with 
nine pumpings. 

During 1924 work was commenced on the develop- 
ment of a much larger area at Coomealla, for which water 
will be pumped from the Murray River. Investigations 
were also made as to the possibility of damming the Lach- 
lan River at Wyangala, the Macquarie at Burrendong, and 
determined. In 1924 a "Private Irrigation Act" was 
the Hunter, Namoi, and Peel rivers at sites not then 
passed, to foster private irrigation works. 

In 1928 the great Wyangala dam, to cost at least 
2,000,000 was well under construction. When finished, 
it will change the aspect of the wheat-belt and add mil- 
lions of pounds annually to the State's harvest returns. 
Within the scope of the great water highway will come 
millions of acres of western grazing lands. These leases 
will expire in 1943, but legislation passed by the late 


Labour Government gives power to terminate the leases 
on payment of compensation and to settle the areas on 
conditional purchase and conditional lease tenures. Water- 
roads and connecting railways will bring a dense popu- 
lation to the Lachlan valley and beyond. In fifteen or 
twenty years the hitherto arid and despised western region 
will add another 2,000,000 acres to the wheat-belt and 
raise the New South Wales harvest from 50,000,000 
bushels to 100,000,000. The British Government is in 
partnership with the New South Wales Government in 
the adventure and is advancing the money. Linked with 
the Wyangala irrigation scheme is the question of migra- 
tion and a great land-settlement scheme. Nearly 
1,000,000 acres of Crown Lands, which will carry between 
600 and 700 families, will be opened up, in addition to 
the large areas of privately owned property. 

In the New South Wales Yanco-Mirrool Irrigation 
areas there were, on November 1926, 1955 farms with a 
total of 100,755 acres. In 1925 there were approxi- 
mately 8724 acres under deciduous fruit-trees, 5519 
under citrus fruits, 7640 under vines, and 2200 under 
rice. There were 866 town blocks on the settlements, 
and the estimated population was 13,000. The Hay and 
Curlwaa Settlements are on the same basis. At Curlwaa 
there are 10,550 acres divided into irrigable and non- 
irrigable holdings. Of the irrigable area there are 1298 
acres of orchards and vineyards, of which 1 099 are in full 
bearing j there is also a small acreage of lucerne. The 
estimated weight of dried fruits produced at Curlwaa in 
1924-25 was 11,000 cwt, the principal yields being sul- 
tanas, 4760 cwt., and currants, 2630 cwt. 

The Hay Irrigation Area in 1926 held 4500 acres, 
of which 1035 divided into blocks of from 3 to 34 acres 
were used for irrigation* Dairying is the principal in- 

The Coomealla Irrigation Area is on the Murray 


River, about nine miles from Wentworth. The first 
section to be made available comprises 3090 acres, of 
which 2314 have been sub-divided into 129 horticultural 
farms and 43 residential holdings. 

In 1893 the Renmark Irrigation Scheme was put 
under the control of a Trust by the South Australian 
Government. There was little other irrigation work un- 
dertaken in the colony until 1910, when the State joined 
Victoria and New South Wales in the great Murray River 

Queensland had in 1926 an area of 21,000 acres 
under irrigation. Under the Irrigation Act of 1922 a 
Commissioner for Irrigation was appointed with wide 
powers. His chief work has been to develop the scheme 
for the utilisation of the waters of the Dawson River. An 
arched concrete dam, which is projected at Nathan's gorge, 
will impound 2,500,000 acre-feet of water, and the sub- 
merged area will be 83,177 acres. In November 1926 
the first section of the Dawson Valley area comprising 
35,000 acres, divided into 373 farms was opened for 
settlement, a pumping system being provided until the 
gravitation scheme is completed. The whole area, 
300,000 acres, is designed to be divided into 7000 farms. 
An agreement that came into force in 1917 between 
the Commonwealth, New South Wales, Victoria, and 
South Australian Governments provides for the conserva- 
tion and distribution of the waters of the Murray and 
its tributaries, under the control of the Murray River 
Commission, comprising representatives of the signatory 
Governments. Provision has since been made for the 
construction of the Hume Reservoir situated just above 
Albury, on the junction of the Murray and the Mitta- 
Mitta rivers with a storage capacity of 1,100,000 feet. 
This has been increased to 2,000,000 feet. By December 
1928 this reservoir had cost 6,500,000, or nearly 
2,000,000 more than the original estimate* 



Coal. Coal, the first mineral to be found in Australia, 
was discovered by a party of escaping convicts, north of 
Port Jackson possibly at Port Stephens in March 
1791. Six years later some wrecked seamen, making their 
way overland to Sydney from the Ninety-Mile Beach in 
Victoria, discovered coal near Bulli. Nothing was done 
with the finds until 1801, when Governor King estab- 
lished a settlement on the Hunter River (Newcastle) to 
obtain coal and timber, at the same time issuing a Pro- 
clamation that coal in that district was a Crown monopoly. 
For some time mines were worked by the Government. 
They were then taken over by the Australian Agricultural 
Company under a monopoly granted by the Imperial 

In 1886 Edgeworth David located a coal seam near 
Abermain, tracing it to Cessnock. In 1889 a syndicate 
acquired 250 acres of this new field and began commercial 

In 1857 the first workings were made on the Bulli 
coal-fields, and in 1858 the Bellambi Colliery was 
opened. Developmental work followed, and in 1862 
the South Bulli pit was opened. 

Coal-mining on the western fields commenced in the 
1860>s, the Hartley measures being opened up at Bowen- 
fels in the Lithgow valley, and at Cooerwull. In 1869 
the output from this field was 1360 tons. 

In 1847 W. B. Clarke asserted that workable coal 
would be found under Sydney. Borings carried out 
towards the end of the century proved the existence of 
the coal, but no attempt was made to work it until 1903, 
when the Sydney Harbour Colleries Company was formed 
to work a seam at Balmain, near Sydney. After many 
vicissitudes the mine, which had a depth of 2784 feet, 


was temporarily abandoned in 1917. From that date it 
has been worked spasmodically. 

A few scattered beds of coal, of minor value, occur 
in outlying parts of the State. In 1915 sub-bituminous 
black-coal measures were found to underlie an area of 
about 23,000 acres in the Riverina District, These de- 
posits have associated with them a large over-burden of 
kaolin of high quality, the profits from which, it is hoped, 
will go towards the cost of mining. A company was 
formed to work this deposit, and a shaft has been sunk at 
Coorabin, but no serious attempt has been made to utilise 
the lignite deposits which occur in various localities, or 
the Triassic coal measures of the Clarence and Richmond 
river districts, which are intersected by bands and con- 
tain a large percentage of ash. 

The yield of the three main coalfields of the State 
for the year 1925 was: Northern, 7,637,953 tonsj 
southern, 2,052,963 tons; western, 1,705,283 tons; mak- 
ing a total for the State of 1 1,396,199 tons. The whole 
Australian output for the same year was 13,626,777 tons. 
In 1925 there were produced 609,418 tons of coke, valued 
at 942,448. 

In Queensland valuable seams of anthracitic and 
semi-anthracitic coal were found between the Mackenzie 
and Dawson rivers. Two collieries near Baralba, on 
the Dawson River line, are now worked, one by the 
State and the other by the Mount Morgan Gold-Mining 

Since 1919 the Queensland Government has worked 
a coal-mine in the Bowen field. In the Cook district the 
beds cover more than a thousand square miles. In 1925 
the yields in the chief mining centres were: Ipswich, 
614,055 tons; Darling Downs, 108,274 tons; Wide Bay, 
119,704 tons; Central, 30,978 tons; Clermont, 62,204 
tons; Bowen, 128,497 tons; Mt. Mulligan, 35,852 tons; 
Mt. Morgan, 70,097 tons: total output, 1,177,173 tons. 


According to the Government Geologist the actual reserve 
is 412,000,000 tons, and the probable reserve 
2,201,000,000 tons. 

In addition to black coal Victoria possesses extensive 
fields of brown coal and lignite. Little effort was made 
to utilise these until 1917, when an Advisory Board re- 
commended the establishment of an open-cut mine at 
Morwell. In 1925, 876,468 tons of brown coal were 

In 1908 an extensive field of coal was discovered in 
the Powlett River district, the seam being of good, clean, 
hard coal, averaging six feet thick. The Victorian 
Government decided to work the field, and in 1909 the 
establishment of a State coal-mine was legalised. 
Operations were begun towards the end of the year, and 
a township, Wonthaggi, was laid out on modern lines* 
The production of black coal in Victoria in 1925 was 
534,246 tons, of which 468,146 were produced by the 
State mine at Wonthaggi. 

In 1889 true coal was found in the Collie district of 
Western Australia, which borings proved to be about fifty 
square miles in extent, with seams of a total thickness of 
about 1 37 feet. The Collie railway was built and opera- 
tions begun, the output in 1915 being 437,461 tons. Coal 
has been discovered in Tasmania, and the yield for 1925 
was 81,698 tons, over 66 per cent coming from the Corn- 
wall and Mt. Nicholas collieries. The island possesses 
beds of lignite and brown coal, not yet exploited. 

The total production of coal in Australia for the 
year 1927 was 13,522,960 tons, valued at 12,039,766, 
and of brown coal 1,455,482, valued at 220,003. 

Coffer. The earliest discovery of copper is said to have 
been made at Macquarie Harbour, Tasmania, in 1827. 
In New South Wales it was first found in January 1 829. 
The first certain discoveries of the ores were made in 


South Australia at Kapunda, near Adelaide, in 1842. 
Samples of these were sent to England and, on a favour- 
able report being received, a mine was opened. In 1 845 
a shepherd named. Pickett found outcrops of copper ore 
at Burra Burra, about 100 miles north of Adelaide. On 
the biggest of these was established the famous Burra 
Burra mine, which in thirty years produced about 
5,000,000 worth of copper and paid 800,000 in divi- 
dends on a nominal capital of 12,320, none of which 
was called up. 

In Western Australia the first actual finds of copper 
ores were made south-east of Perth in December 1846. 
In 1860 mines were opened at Wallaroo and Moonta in 
South Australia, and in 1862 at Peak Downs and Mount 
Perry in Queensland. In Victoria the only deposits of 
size were found at Walhalla in Gippsland. At Cobar 
in New South Wales, where copper was discovered in 
1869, the richer surface ores were at first sent by team 
to Bourke and shipped down the Darling River to smelt- 
ing works at Port Adelaide. In 1920 most of the copper 
mines at Cobar were dosed down and the plants dis- 
mantled. At Wallaroo and Moonta operations have been 
more continuous than elsewhere in Australia. The 
Moonta Company was the first in Australia whose divi- 
dends accumulated to a million pounds, and in 63 years 
the two mines produced nearly 20,365,000 worth of 
copper ore and paid over 2,600,000 in dividends. 

In Tasmania no discoveries of copper of a commer- 
cial value were made until 1893, when the Mt. Lyell 
goldfield, north of Macquarie Harbour, was found to con- 
tain plentiful supplies of native ore. In 1909 the Mt. 
Elliot Company opened copper reduction works at Selwyn. 
Similar works were opened at Kuridala in 191 1. 

The principal fields in which copper is being, or has 
been of late years, mined are near Cloncurry and at Mt 
Morgan in Queensland} Cobar and Tottenham in New 


South Wales 5 Wallaroo and Moonta in South Australia 5 
West Pilbara and Northampton in Western Australia} 
and Mt Lyell in Tasmania. In 1917 reduction works 
were opened at Mt. Cuthbert. 

At Mt. Morgan, which was worked for many years 
solely as a gold-mine, copper-smelting began in 1906, 
the blister copper being sent to Port Kembla in New South 
Wales for final treatment. The collapse in copper prices 
after 1918, followed by repeated strikes, resulted in the 
closing down of this mine in 1921-22} later it was re- 
opened, and a second closing down occurred in September 

In 1917 Queensland (chiefly Mt. Morgan) produced 
19,062 tons of copper. In 1923 the production had 
fallen to 6242 tons, and in 1925 to 3908. In New 
South Wales (chiefly Tottenham) 6576 tons were pro- 
duced in 1917, but by 1925 this had fallen to 478. In 
South Australia (chiefly Moonta and Wallaroo) 7213 
tons were produced in 1917, 3523 in 1923, and only 
570 in 1925. In Western Australia (chiefly at North- 
ampton) 1501 tons were produced in 1917, 1057 in 
1923, and 1201 in 1925. Tasmania (chiefly Mt Lyell) 
produced 6616 tons in 1917, 6065 in 1923, and 6539 
in 1925. The value of copper produced in the Com- 
monwealth was nearly 5,000,000 in 1917} under 
2,000,000 in 1919} and about 775,043 in 1925. In 
1927 the total was 10,132 tons, valued at 607,038. 

Gold. Gold discoveries occurred very soon after the first 
settlement was made, the first recorded find being by 
James McBrien, near the Fish River in New South Wales. 
In 1839 Count Strzelecki discovered gold, and later re- 
ported a further and larger find. In 1 843-44 a shepherd 
named McGregor found gold in the Wellington district 
of New South Wales. 

Serious attempts at gold-mining followed E. H. 


Hargrave's report of his discoveries "at Lewes Ponds and 
Summer Hill Creeks" in the Bathurst and Wellington 
Districts. On the Government Geologist confirming 
Hargraves's report, a gold-rush occurred. In July the 
"Kerr's Hundredweight" (a nugget weighing 106 Ib.) 
was discovered. For a considerable time after the fields 
were open some 4000 to 5000 ounces of gold were sent 
down to the city every fortnight. Then followed the 
discoveries at Araluen (1851), Lambing Flat ( 1 8 60) ,, 
Lucknow (1863), Hill End (1872), Yalwal (1873), and 
Hillgrove (1888). 

A new goldfield was discovered at Wyalong in New 
South Wales in 1893, but the chief gold-mining by this 
decade had centred in Western Australia, 

In Victoria gold was found by a man named Smyth 
near the Ovens River in 1844. In 1849 gold-quartz was 
unearthed at Smythesdale, but nothing was made of these 
finds and others until a much later date. Gold was dis- 
covered at Clunes in 1850, and at Anderson's Creek in 

Thomas Hiscock found gold on the Buninyong 
Ranges, and this find led to the discovery of the Ballarat 
fields. Between August 1 and December 6, 1851, it 
was estimated that 211,734 oz. of gold were brought 
into Melbourne for shipment. 

Extensive gold-finds were made in the Ovens dis- 
trict in 1852, resulting in a rush of 20,000 miners to the 
Mclvor, and the creation of the town of Heathcote. In 
1854 discontent and dissatisfaction, due to the heavy 
licensing fees and the oppressive rule by the gold-fields' 
police, culminated in the uprising known as the Eureka 

Samuel Stutchbury first discovered gold in Queens- 
land in 1 852. In 1 8 56 a find was made at "Lord John's 
Swamp" on the Canning Downs, and at Emu Creek on 
the road to Gympie. The first gold-rush took place at 


Canoona in 1857. Ridgelands goldfields were opened 
in 1867 and soon afterwards finds were made at Rose^ 

In October 1867 James Nash discovered Gympie, 
and in 1869 gold was found on the Gilbert River. Then 
followed the spectacular rush to the Palmer, on the Cape 
York Peninsula. In 1882 the vast deposits of gold and 
copper were discovered at Mt. Morgan, almost within 
sight of Rockhampton. 

The wealth of the Hamilton, well up in the Cape 
York Peninsula, was not suspected until 1899, and the 
short-lived but exciting and profitable Dee rush occurred 
in 1903. 

The value of the great mound of gold and copper, 
afterwards called Mt. Morgan, was first discovered by 
two brothers Morgan, who, prospecting on the Cawarral 
goldfield, were storm-bound on John Gordon's selection 
at the foot of the hill. The Morgan Brothers prospected 
the hill and, finding large quantities of gold, pegged out 
all the ground they could take up outside Gordon's selec- 
tion. They found the necessary capital, bringing in 
Thomas Skarratt Hall, William Knox D'Arcy, and Wil- 
liam Patterson, and giving them a half -share in the dis- 
covery. Later the syndicate purchased Gordon's free- 
hold for 640 and erected a battery at the foot of the 

In 1 886 the Syndicate, which so far had won 59,024 
oz. of gold from the mine, was converted into a limited 
liability company, with a nominal capital of 1,000,000. 

The mine was definitely closed down in September 
1925, having in 39 years treated 9,196,605 tons of ore, 
containing 5,305,979 oz. of gold and 139,427 tons of 
copperj it had paid 9,379,1 66 in dividends. The mine 
still contains approximately, 8,000,000 tons of low grade 
ores, valued at 16,0(30,000, The Company went into 
liquidation in 1927, having during the last six years of 


its working paid 1,961,623 in wages out of a total 
expenditure of 3,002,000. In December 1928 the 
liquidators received a request from J. H. Kessal, acting on 
behalf of a syndicate, for an option to purchase the 
Queensland assets. The price is said to be 1 20,000, and 
it is proposed to form a company to realise certain of 
the valuable assets, keeping in view the ultimate object 
of the re-opening of the mine. It is proposed to treat 
immediately 660,000 tons of ores, previously blocked and 

During January 1846 a gold-find took place about 
ten miles east of Adelaide, South Australia, and later this 
mine was worked. In 1852 W. Chapman found rich 
surface deposits above Donkey Gully. In 1871 gold was 
discovered at Jupiter Creek and in scattered patches along 
the main range from Echunga to Olary. The Teetulpa 
goldfields were uncovered in October 1886, and 300,000 
worth of gold was taken from a square mile of country. 
Subsequently discoveries were made in the Tarcoola Dis- 
trict, through which the East- West Transcontinental Rail- 
way was afterwards built. 

In the Northern Territory gold was discovered by 
the men setting the poles for the overland telegraph line 
from Darwin to Adelaide. Because of the difficulty of 
reaching the probable fields, nothing was done in the way 
of gold-mining in the Territory until a much later date. 
Arltunga was the scene of a reported rich find in 1902, 
but the yield so far has been small. In 1908 Driffield 
was the centre of production. During the years 1909-18 
very little advance was made in the industry. The chief 
event was the finding of a new goldfield in the far north 
of the Territory, at Tanami, some 450 miles south-east 
of Wyndham. 

As far back as 1824 a man named Cobb, working in 
a road-gang near Georgetown, Tasmania, gave Captain 
D'Arcy a piece of gold he had picked up. This is the 


first record of the metal in the island. In 1852 an 
alluvial deposit was found by Kieling Richardson near 
Fingal. Seven years later James Smith discovered gold 
at the Forth, and Peter Leete reported a find at the 
Calder. The quartz reefs at Fingal and Waterhouse 
were uncovered in 1869. The Waterhouse reefs were 
not worked until 1871 and soon petered out. In 1877 
the Tasmania gold-mine was opened at BeaconsfiekL 
Then followed the discoveries at Lisle ( 1 878) and Branx- 
holm (1883), and the famous Mt. Lyell deposits of gold 
and copper (1886). 

In 1861, F. K. Panter, a Western Australian Inspec- 
tor of Police, found specimens of gold-quartz east of 
Northam. No further finds were recorded until gold 
was found at Peterwangy. In 1 873 a quartz reef was un- 
covered at Kendenup, but no fields were established until 
the discoveries of 1883. On May 20, 1886, the Kimber- 
ley goldfield was proclaimed. In 1887 gold was found 
at Southern Cross, and promising reefs were opened at 
Mallina in 1888. In the same year finds were made at 
Yilgarn and at Pilbara. 

Alluvial gold was reported from the Murchison in 
1891. A year later Bayley and Ford, who had mined 
gold on the Murchison, made their way to Southern Cross 
and camped at the native well near Coolgardie. Here 
they found gold, and after a month's work succeeded 
in tracking up the lead and locating the famous Cool- 
gardie reef, 

Kalgoorlie "HannanV was discovered in 1893 by 
Flannigan and Hannan, who were on their way to a new 
gold-rush about fifty miles north-east of Coolgardie. 
Bardoc, "the 45-mile," was located in August of the same 
year and "Siberia" in October. In 1 894 Hall and Speak- 
man pioneered the Mt. Jackson district, and in the same 
year rich alluvial was found at the Pinnacles and Kanowna. 


Bulong, the Norseman field, and Menzies were also dis- 
covered in 1894. 

The Yalgoo, Niagara, and Kunanalling goldfields 
were located in 1895, as were also the Nannine fields. 
The Mt. Magnet and Donnybrook districts were pro- 
spected in 1 898. In 1 899 the Jackson's Claim at Donny- 
brook and the Merton's Reward mine were located, and 
in 1900 gold was discovered at Yundamindera and at Mt. 
Higgins (North Coolgardie), Willcena (Peak Hill), 
Ninghan (Yalgoo), Boodalyerrie Creek (Pilbara), Can- 
veil, Reedy ? s and Weld Range (Murchison), and Yal- 
lowdine and Dunladgin (Yilgarn). 

In 1927 the Commonwealth produced 508,303 oz. 
of fine gold, valued at 2,159,076. 

Diamonds. Diamonds were first discovered in Australia by 
E. H. Hargraves near Guyong, in New South Wales, 
late in June 185L Further deposits were found in the 
Macquarie River, but no mining took place until 1867, 
when a considerable deposit was found in the Cudgegong 
Valley. In the same year diamonds were found near Bin- 
gara, and later about the Gwydir River, at Oakey Creek 
and at Mittagong. A few deposits have been found in 
Victoria and Western Australia, but the bulk of the Aus- 
tralian diamonds are derived from the Inverell-Tingha 
District. The total production up to 1926 was 202,168 
carats, valued at 144,452. 

Iron and Steal. Iron deposits were known from the 
earliest days of the Australian settlement. William Kent 
took specimens of iron ore to England in 1800, and 
Simeon Lord in 1812 proposed to open workings in 
Northern Tasmania. In 1852 works were established near 
Mittagong, and in 1875 attempts to smelt local and 
western ores were made at Lithgow. 

In 1900 the Broken Hill Proprietary Company ac- 


quired deposits of iron ore, showing 66.68 per cent o 
metallic iron, at Iron Knob and Iron Monarch, on the 
western side of Spencer Gulf in South Australia. Origi- 
nally it had been intended to use the ore as flux in the 
Company's Port Pirie smelters, but in 191 1 it was decided 
to exploit the deposits for the manufacture of iron and 
steel, and in 1 91 5 works were opened at Newcastle. By 
the end of August in that year 36,214 tons of pig-iron 
had been produced. In the following eight months 
56,000 tons of steel were made, and up to the end of 
1921 the production of steel ingots averaged about 
190,000 tons annually. 

Industrial disturbances caused the closing down of 
the works, but in 1923 they were re-opened. The average 
.annual output of steel for the two years 1924-25 was 
332,570 tons. 

In January 1908 C. H. Hoskins purchased the Lith- 
,gow (N.S.W.) plant (established in 1874). Ironstone 
was obtained from Carcoar (N.S.W.), and in the first 
year 3946 tons of steel ingots were made, as well as over 
30,000 tons of pig-iron, from 51,206 tons of local ore. 
in 1908-13 the average annual yield was 3811 tons of 
steel and over 36,000 tons of pig-iron, from about 60,000 
tons of ore. In 1909 a system of bounties came into 
force, and up to the end of 1913 the Lithgow works re- 
vceived 105,849. In 1914 the rate of bounty was re- 
duced to two-thirds, but the production nearly doubled. 
In 1914-17 the average annual production was 22,472 
tons of steel and 62,262 tons of pig-iron, from 113,027 
tons of ore. Figures for 1921-25 show a yearly output 
of 8 1,772 tons of pig-iron from 151,628 tons of ore. 

For the Commonwealth of Australia 1 18,951 tons of 
pig-iron were produced in 1927, valued at 654,230$ 
722,93 1 tons of iron ore and flux, valued at 83 1,295 and 
5011 tons of iron oxide valued at 3116* 


Silver and Lead. The first reports of silver in Australia 
were made by Count Strzelecki in 1839, but only small 
quantities of the ore were found up to the time of Charles- 
Rasp's sensational discovery at Broken Hill, New South 
Wales, in 1882. At that time a few deposits were 
worked at Inverell (1870), Sunny Corner near Rydal 
(1875), and Boorook (1878). 

In 1883 a boundary rider named Charles Rasp^ 
pegged out 40 acres of great ironstone outcrop as a tin- 
mine. A syndicate of seven, contributing 70 each, was 
formed and took up six more blocks. They sank a shaft, 
and at 100 feet down struck chloride of silver. Rich 
ore was later discovered on the property. 

In August 1885 the Broken Hill Proprietary Com- 
pany was floated. During later years other companies- 
were promoted on the property of the syndicate by the 
parent company, which eventually retained only three of 
the original seven leases taken up. The town of Broken 
Hill grew up beside the mining property, and in 1889* 
its population numbered 17,000. 

In 1885 the mine produced 108,281 and in 1888 
1,001,848. In 1891 production had increased to 
3,529,043. The output at the end of 1925 was ap- 
proximately 128,000,000 and dividends paid by the 
mining companies were close upon 30,000,000. The 
quantity of ore extracted totalled 35,000,000 tons, the 
maximum output for one year (1913) being 1,744,177 
tons. In May 1925 the ore developed and the quantity 
available for extraction was estimated by the Government 
Geologist at over 13,000,000 tons, with unknown possi- 
bilities beyond. 

The most important silver-lead field next to Broken 
Hill is at Yerranderie, in the hills behind Picton, New 
South Wales, where in 1925 1211 tons of ore yielded 
111,532 oz. of silver, 217 oz. of gold, and 317 tons of 
lead. One stope of the Silver Peaks mine on this field 


showed over ten feet of solid galena, yielding in 1923 
120 oz. of silver and 33 per cent of lead per ton. A 
mine at Kangiara, near Yass, obtained from 146 tons of 
ore 2575 oz. of silver and 37 tons of lead, besides 11 
oz. of gold. Condobolin in the west, Tumbarumba in 
the south; and Tenterfield and Emmaville in the north 
are also silver-producing districts. Some very rich silver 
ore only has been mined at Rockvale, in the neighbour- 
hood of Armidale. 

All native gold contains a percentage of silver, and 
in Victoria that is the only form in which silver is ob- 
tained. In Queensland the chief yields in 1925 were: 
Chillagoe, silver 10,43 2 5 lead 60,785; Herberton, 
silver 9370; lead 15,162; Mount Morgan, silver 
2577 (recovered from gold) ; Etheridge, silver 2435; 
lead 11,896. 

In 1923 a new silver-lead field was discovered at 
Mt. Isa in the Cloncurry district. The lodes are distri- 
buted over an area five miles long by one mile wide along 
the west bank of the West Leichhardt River. Complex 
silver-lead ore occurs also at Silver Spur. In the same year 
ores were found between Ooloo Dam and Mount Distance, 
in South Australia, but no mining followed. In Western 
Australia 81,226 oz.,of silver were obtained as a by-pro- 
duct in 1925, and 4854 tons of lead and silver-lead ore, 
valued at 83,095 were exported. The Northampton 
mineral field yielded 37,865 tons of lead. Tasmania, 
in 1924, produced 494,782 oz. of silver and 4559 
tons of lead. Of silver the Magnet mines returned 
151,084 oz., the North Mt. Farrell, 194,702 oz., Zeehan, 
41,464 oz., Mount Lyell, 147,376 oz., and Round Hill 
24,169 oz. The principal lead producers were North 
Mt Farrell (1933 tons), Zeehan (500), and Magnet 

In the Northern Territory silver-lead ores are found 
near Pine Creek, Lawn Hill, and at Mt. Shoebridge, but 


owing to transportation costs the locations have not been 

In the Commonwealth during the year 1927, 882,786 
oz. of silver were produced, valued at 103,392, and 
291,709 tons of silver-lead ore, etc., valued at 3,512,54-9. 
In the same year 6502 tons of lead were produced, 
valued at 157,815. 

Tin. Tin, in Australia, was first discovered by W. B. 
Clarke, who reported it from New England and Darling 
Downs. In 1871 the Mount Bischoff mine, in Tasmania, 
was discovered, and in 1872 deposits were uncovered at 
Inverell in New South Wales and at Warwick in Queens- 
land. The Herberton (Queensland) tin-field was opened 
in 1879 and the Western Australian fields in 1888. 

Australia reached its highest annual production of 
tin (value 1,509,787) in 1907, in which year Tasmania 
and Queensland yielded 9500 tons. Recently the yield 
has considerably decreased, mainly because of low prices 
and the high production costs. The average production 
values for 1919-24 are: New South Wales, 264,806; 
Tasmania, 253,298; Queensland, 141,317. Other 
States produced small quantities. The Commonwealth 
production of tin averaged up to 717,110. The total 
quantity of tin produced in the Commonwealth during 
1927 was 3507 tons, valued at 842, 430. 

Ofals. Boulder opal was discovered in Queensland about 
1875, and about 1877 similar stones were found in New 
South Wales on the Abercrombie River. Sandstone opal 
was discovered in Western Queensland about 1886, occur- 
ing in a belt of country about 250 miles wide extending 
about 550 miles north-west from Hungerford, on the 
New South Wales border, to Kynuna, at the head of the 
Diamantina River. 

In 1903 prospectors along the Upper Darling River 


struck at Lightning Ridge, near Walgett, a type of opal 
distinguished by the black body-ground, in which colours 
gleam. This was at first difficult to market, but by 1910 
Lightning Ridge was yielding two-thirds of the Austra- 
lian output, and in 1914 eighty per cent of it. 

In 1 9 1 5 a new opal-field was discovered in the Stuart 
Ranges, west of Lake Eyre in South Australia. This 
field produces a light opal, identical with the White Cliffs 
stone, but occasional specimens show an inky colouring 
matter. No production was recorded in 1922-23, and 
in New South Wales only 3040 worth was won all 
but 40 worth from Lightning Ridge j in Queensland 
500 worth. These figures cannot be absolutely relied 
upon since parcels of stone are often disposed of privately 
and not recorded. Small quantities are found in the 
Beechworth district of Victoria. The total of opal pro- 
duced in the Commonwealth during 1927 was valued at 

Asbestos. Asbestos has been found near Barraba and 
Gundagai, in New South Wales. The average annual 
yield for 1920-22 was 723 tons* During 1923 the mines 
were abandoned. In Queensland a belt of country be- 
tween Cawarral and Canoona showed seams, but the fibre 
lacked tensile strength. In South Australia deposits of the 
"mountain leather" and "mountain cork" varieties have 
been found at Oollawirra, and finds of the blue variety 
have been made at Eudunda and at Hawker. In West- 
ern Australia the fibrous chrysolite variety has been found 
south-east of Cossack, between the Yule and the Nulla- 
gine. The average annual yield in 1923-25 was 80 tons. 
In 1918, at Anderson's Creek, in Tasmania, asbestos was 
mined and yielded 2854 tons, valued at over 5000; 
in 1919 a small quantity was raised, but there has been 
no production since. 



SIR EDMUND BARTON (1849-1920) 

Born at Glebe, Sydney, on 18th January 1849. 
Educated at Sydney Grammar School and University of 
Sydney (B.A. 1868; M.A. 1870). Called to N.S.W. 
Bar in 1871 and became Q.C. in 1889. Contested Uni- 
versity seat in Parliament unsuccessfully in 1 877 and suc- 
cessfully in 1879 but in that year University represen- 
tation was abolished. Became successively member for 
Wellington (1880-1), East Sydney (1882-7 and 18914), 
Hastings and Macleay (1898-9). Interposed two terms 
(1887-91 and 1897-8) as member of Legislative Coun- 
cil. Speaker Legislative Assembly 1883-7. Protectionist, 
attached to the George Dibbs party and under him Attor- 
ney-General in 1889 Ministry and also (for a time) in 
the 1891-4 Ministry. Resigned to devote himself en- 
tirely to Federation. Representative for N.S.W. in 1891 
convention and one of the four members chosen to draft 
the Constitution Bill. In 1891 stood for East Sydney 
and joined the Dibbs Ministry as leader of the Federa- 
tion party at the direct request of Sir Henry Parkes, 
who had retired from politics. Carried pro-Federal reso- 
lution in Parliament but found the dual position impos- 
sible and resigned from Ministry in December 1893. 
Devoted his time to speeches in favour of Federation* 
Headed poll for Federal Convention elections (N.S.W.) 
in 1897 and was made leader of the Convention and 
Chairman of a Constitutional Committee. Chairman of 
sub-Committee that drafted the new Bill. Appointed 


leader of the Delegation to London to see the Common- 
wealth Bill through the English Parliament. Was first 
Prime Minister of the Commonwealth. Resigned in 1903 
and accepted position of Chief- Justice on the High 
Court of Australia. Died January 7th, 1920. (P.C. 
1901; G.CM.G. 1902). 


In 1868, being then 18 years old, Mr. O. C. Beale 
was cashier in the firm of Brooks, Robinson and Company 
of Melbourne. Later he visited New Zealand to open up 
business there and became a partner in 1875. 

In 1879 Mr. Beale commenced business under the 
name of Beale and Company, as an importer of sewing- 
machines, to which Pianos were soon added. The opera- 
tions developed rapidly. 

In view of the extensive turnover, the manufactur- 
ing of both pianos and sewing-machines was decided upon 
and local production began in 1893. 

The manufacture of sewing-machines was relin- 
quished in order to concentrate upon pianos, the factories 
being now the largest and best equipped Piano Plant in 
the British Empire. 

Mr. Beale holds the Freedom of the City of London, 
being a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Musi- 
cians, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature Lon- 

When the Chambers of Manufactures of Australia 
formed their Federal Association in 1904, he was elected 
their first President, and has ever since remained on the 

For some years he was a Trustee of the Savings Bank 
of New South Wales, and is now a Trustee of the Austra- 
lian Museum. 


SAMUEL BENNETT (1815-1878) 

Born at Camborne, England, 1815. Arriveu /ius- 
tralia in 1 841 under engagement to the proprietors of the 
"Sydney Herald" (now "Sydney Morning Herald"), 
then Messrs. Stephens & Stokes, when Messrs Kemp & 
Fairfax took over the newspaper became head of the print- 
ing department, which position he occupied for over 17 
years. 1859 bought the "Empire," then a daily news- 
paper with a weekly edition, until 1 875. 1 867 commenced 
publication of the "Evening News." Three years later 
he added a weekly paper, "The Town and Country Jour- 
nal." In 1875 he amalgamated the "News" and the 

He contributed much to the columns of his papers 
and in 1865 commenced "A History of Australian Dis- 
covery and Development" which appeared as a serial in 
the "Evening News." Later in the year he found that 
business affairs forbade further historical research and 
published what had been written (to 1831) in a book. 

Died at Little Coogee, near Sydney, 1878. 

DON (1829-1 904) 

Son of Henry Braddon, of Cornwall, England, and 
elder brother of Miss Braddon, the novelist. Born 1 829. 
In 1847 he' went to Calcutta to work for a cousin's firm. 
Later joined the Government Railway Service as assistant 
in the Santhal district, where he helped to suppress an 
outbreak. Was appointed Assistant Commissioner in 
1857. During the Mutiny he raised a Santhal battalion 
and served under Sir George Yule, with much credit. For 
the next twenty years he occupied various posts in the 
Indian Revenue Service. 

Retiring in 1878 he settled in Tasmania and the 
following year entered the Assembly as member for West 


Devon. Became Leader of the Opposition in 1886. After 
refusing the Premiership he joined the Fysh Ministry in 
1887 as Minister of Lands and Works. 1888 he was 
Tasmanian Representative on the Federal Council and 
the same year became Agent General. Recalled to Tas- 
mania in 1893 he was re-elected for his old constituency. 
In 1894 became Premier, retaining office until late in 
1 899 taking a large share in Federation. He represented 
Tasmania at the Convention of 1897-8 and was mainly 
responsible for the famous "Braddon Clause." Was 
elected to the Federal House of Representatives in 1901 
and died in 1904, (K.CM.G., 1891} P.C., 1897). 

SIR JOHN COX BRAY (1842-1894) 

Born in Adelaide, South Australia, 1842. Educated 
at St. Peter's College, England, and trained for the law* 
Admitted to the South Australian Bar in 1870. Entered 
Parliament 1871 as member for East Adelaide. Sat for 
the constituency, continuously until his resignation in 

In 1875 he became Minister for Justice in the Blyth 
Ministry 5 Attorney-General in the Colton Ministry, 
1877j Leader of the Opposition 1877-1881} Premier, 
1881-1884. In 1885 he joined the Downer Ministry as 
Chief Secretary and later in 1887 took the portfolio of 
Treasurer. 1888 was elected Speaker, but resigned in 
1890 to take office as Chief Secretary in the Play ford 
Ministry. 1 892 he was appointed Agent General to Lon- 
don. He resigned, through illness, in 1894, and died at 
sea in that year. 

He represented South Australia in the Intercolonial 
Conference of 1883 and presided over the Australian 
Natives' Association Conference of 1890, and was one 
of his State's Representatives at the Convention of 1891* 
(K.C.M,a, 1890). 


SIR JAMES BURNS (1846-1923) 

Born at Polmont, Scotland, 1 846, Educated at Edin- 
burgh High School. Migrated with an elder brother to 
Queensland 1862 and after some years of pastoral work 
was about to join his brother in the management of a 
business near Brisbane when gold was discovered at Gym- 
pie. He was the first man from Brisbane to reach the 
field and besides acquiring several mines controlled three 
stores at the mining centres. 1870 visited Scotland and 
on returning found that the discovery of gold at Charters 
Towers was playing an important part in the development 
of Townsville. He settled there and established a busi- 
ness as Merchant and Shipping Agent. 1877 he took 
into partnership Robert Philp whom he left in charge 
when he decided to settle in Sydney. In 1883 he 
founded the firm of Burns, Philp & Co., amalgamating 
his own business at Sydney, Thursday Island and Nor- 
manton with the businesses carried on in Philp's name 
at Charters Towers, Townsville and Cairns, 

1888 Burns enlisted in the New South Wales Lancer 
Regiment. In 1891 he was made Captain of the Parra- 
matta Troop; and in 1897 became Colonel of the Regi- 
ment, rising in 1904 to Brigadier-Colonel commanding 
the first brigade of the Australian Light Horse. Retired 
in 1907 in which year he was nominated to the Legisla- 
tive Council. For nineteen years he was President of the 
New South Wales Highland Society and for twelve years a 
Trustee of the Australian Museum. In his later years his 
interests were in the Burnside Home for Orphans, built 
on his own land at Gowan Brae, near Parramatta, and 
largely endowed by him. Died at Gowan Brae, 1923. 
<XCM.G., 1917). 



Born at Kiama, N.S.W., 21st December 1857. Edu- 
cated at Fort Street Public School, Goulburn High School 
and Sydney University, graduated B.A. 1 873, M.A. 1 875. 

Articled to A. H. McCulloch in 1875 and after ad- 
mission as a Solicitor practised for fifty-one years in Syd- 
ney. Elected to N.S.W. Legislative Assembly in 
1886 and re-elected for 22 years for same Electorate until 
1908 when he resigned and was appointed to the Legis- 
lative Council of N.S.W. in 1908, of which Chamber he 
is still a member. Thus for 43 years he has been continu- 
ously a member of the State Legislature. 

In 1896 he was elected one of the ten delegates for 
N.S.W. to the Australasian Federal Convention and as a 
member thereof assisted in framing the present Constitu- 
tion of the Commonwealth of Australia. Member of five 
State Ministries, viz., in 1888, Minister of Education in 
Government of Sir Henry Parkes and until 189L From 
1895 to 1901 member of Reid Government as Minister 
for Lands and Colonial Treasurer. From 1904 to 1908 
Premier and Treasurer in his own Ministry. In 1919 
and again in 1921-24 Vice-President Executive Council in 
Government of Sir George Fuller. Created K.C.M.G. 
in 1908. Has held positions as President N.S.W. 
Chamber of Agriculture (ten years), Trustee of National 
Park, Public Art Gallery, Council of Royal Agricultural 
Society, Commonwealth Commissioner Cook Celebrations 
at Hawaii 1928. (K.C.M.G. 1908 5 LL.D., M.L.C. 


Born in England in 1809 and migrated to Sydney, 
New South Wales, in 1829. Employed as a clerk by 
Marsden & Flower, General Merchants. The firm was 


re-organised in 1 842 and Challis was taken into partner- 
ship, on his merits and it is believed without capital. The 
new firm, Flower, Salting & Co., became extremely 
wealthy when the gold discoveries expanded Australian 
commerce and in 1855 was dissolved, the partners retiring 
on their acquired wealth, which in Challis 3 case amounted 
to more than 100,000. This included, beside other pro- 
perty, a large block of land along the shore of Woolloo- 
mooloo Bay, extending eastwards to Macleay Street. 

After retiring Challis lived almost wholly in Eng- 
land, except for a short visit to New South Wales in 1859. 
He was interested in the University of Sydney and he 
left it the whole of his residuary estate, subject to his 
widow's life interest, and a five-year period of accumula- 
tion after her death. He died in France in 1880 and his 
widow died in 1884. In 1890 the University benefited 
by about 200,000 which was increased in 1905, when 
certain annuities fell due, by nearly 80,000. 


Born at East Bergholt, England, 1798. Educated at 
Dedham Grammar School and Jesus College, Cambridge 
(B.A. 1 821 } M.A. 1 824). At the University he acquired 
enthusiasm for and considerable knowledge of geology 
and also wrote verse, being defeated by Macaulay for the 
Newdigate Prize. 1821 he took Holy Orders (Priest 
1 824) and spent the next eighteen years travelling through 
England and Europe engaged in scientific, mainly geo- 
logical, investigation. In 1833 he was given the living 
of Longfleet, in Dorset, and became Chaplain to the 
Bishop of Salisbury, Arrived in Australia 1839. On 
arrival in Sydney he was appointed to the parish of Castle 
Hill and Dural, together with the nominal headmaster- 
ship of The King's School, at Parramatta. In 1840 he 
resigned the headmastership and transferred to paroch- 


ial work at Campbelltown. In 1 846 he became incumbent 
of St Thomas's Church, North Sydney, and remained 
there until 1870. 

Clarke's name is chiefly associated with the discovery 
of gold on the Australian continent although he was not 
actually the first discoverer. In 1851 he was commissioned 
by the Government of New South Wales to make survey 
of the southern districts of the colony "with a special view 
to the indications of gold" and spent nine months on the 
Monaro, around Kosciusko and on the Upper Murray, 
without much result, so far as gold discoveries were con- 
cerned. For his work then and previously, he was 
awarded 6000 by the Colonial Governments. In 1877 
he received the Murchison Medal of the London Geolo- 
gical Society for his work on the New South Wales coal- 
fields 5 and in 1849 announced his discovery of deposits 
of tin. 

Was appointed Secretary of the Australian Museum 
in 1841 and retired in 1845. Was a Member of the 
Council of the Australian Philosophical Society when it 
was resuscitated in 1850; its Vice-President when it be- 
came the Philosophical Society of New South Wales in 
1 856; and one of its Vice-Presidents when in 1 866 it was 
transformed to the Royal Society of New South Wales. 
In 1 876 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society for 
his work on gold discoveries at a time when that honour 
was very rarely conferred for work in Australia. After 
1870, when he retired from clerical work, he devoted 
himself entirely to science and died in 1878. After his 
death the Government bought his collection of fossils for 

SIR DANIEL COOPER (1821-1902) 

Born at Bolton-le-Moors, Lancashire, England, 
1821. Educated at University College, London. Re- 
ceived his early mercantile training with a firm trading 


at Havre, France, and in 1 843 came to Sydney, N.S.W., 
to join his father's firm of Holt & Cooper, which in 1851 
became Cooper & Co. 

1 849 he was elected to the N.S. W. Legislative Coun- 
cil by the Counties of St. Vincent and Auckland and re- 
tired at the dissolution of 1851. Visited England several 
times during the next few years and gained prominence 
as the originator of the Australian Fund to relieve the 
distress caused by the Crimean War. 1856 was elected to 
the new Legislative Assembly by Sydney Hamlets ; held 
the seat until 1859 and then transferred to Padding ton. 
Was Speaker to three Parliaments and resigned the 
position 1860 on account of failing health and retired 
from politics. Died in London 1902. 

Cooper's wealth, acquired from commerce and in- 
vestments in land was largely spent on philanthropic 
works in England and Australia. He was Senator of the 
University of Sydney from 1857 to 1861 and created a 
fund from which one graduate and three undergraduate 
scholarships are now provided. His chief benefactions 
were connected with the distress caused in Lancashire by 
the American Civil War and for his gifts and services in 
that period he received a baronetcy. On several occasions 
he acted as Agent-General for New South Wales. (Kt. 
Bach. 1857; Bart 1863} K.C.M.G. 1880; G.CM.G. 


Born near Jamberoo, N.S.W., 1855. Educated at 
the University of Sydney (B.A. 1880; M.A. 1882; LL.B. 
1885; LL.D. 1887). Called to the bar in 1883 and soon 
took high rank on the Equity side. Became member for 
Camden in the Legislative Assembly and in 1 895 was ap- 
pointed to the Legislative Council. He was interested in 
the University and was elected a Fellow in 1896; made 
Vice-Chancellor in 1908-1910 and Chancellor in 1914. 


In 1896 he introduced into the Council a Bill for Uni- 
versity Reform, including the reforms thai were eventu- 
ally carried in 1 9 1 2 a limited term of office for Senators 
and election of them by postal votes. 

Was made Chief Justice of New South Wales in 
1910 with a dormant commission as Administrator of the 
Government during any absence of the Governor. This 
was superseded in the same year by a definite appoint- 
ment by the King to the post of Lieutenant-Governor. 
He resigned the Chief Justiceship on January 28th, 1925. 
He continues to take an active interest in many move- 
ments affecting the welfare of Australia. (Kt. Bach 
1911; K.C.M.G. 1912). 


Born Sydney, 1831. Educated Sydney College and 
St Mary's School. Called to N.S.W. bar 1856 (Q.C 
1877). Succeeded Sir Henry Parkes for City of Sydney 
1856 in first parliament under responsible government. 
Represented Cumberland boroughs in 1858-9 parliament 
and in the following parliament represented Windsor. 
Resigned Feb. 1860. From Nov. 1858 to Feb. 1859 
was Solicitor-General in Cowper ministry. Was one of 
2 1 new members John Robertson appointed to Legislative 
Council in May 1861 and was Commissioner for Emigra- 
tion, with Parkes as fellow-commissioner. Represented 
Carcoar 1862-1864. Member of Legislative Council 
1870-1873. In 1875 re-appointed to Council and was 
appointed Attorney General 1875-1877. Resigned from 
Council 1880, but was again in Council as Stuart's Attor- 
ney General in 1883. In 1884 Stuart became ill and 
Dalley was acting Premier. In that office he offered Eng- 
land a contingent of New South Welshmen for the Sudan 
war following the death of General Gordon. Refused 
knighthood and chief-justiceship and under pressure ac- 


cepted Privy Councillorship in 1887 the first Australian 
to receive that honour. Died Sydney 28th October 


Born at Port Stephens in 1 830 and educated at Syd- 
ney College and the University of Cambridge (M.A. 
1857). Returned to New South Wales to take up pas- 
toral life. Entered politics in 1874 as member for West 
Sydney and was a member of Parliament for practically 
the rest of his life (West Sydney 1874-7 5 East Sydney 
1 880-2$ nominated to the Legislative Council 1 883). He 
died in Sydney in 1917. 


Third son of Henry Dangar. He preferred ship- 
ping to sheep-stations and founded the shipping firm of 
Dangar, Gedye & Co., which he managed until 1882. In 
that year he disposed of his many Australian interests and 
retired to London where he died on 26th March, 1921. 
He was especially interested in the training of officers for 
the British Mercantile Marine and had a share in the well- 
known training ships Medway and Port Jackson. 


Born on 1 8th September, 1 830, in Dublin. Educated 
at Royal School, Dungannon, and Trinity College, Dub- 
lin. He was called to Irish Bar 1853. He emigrated to 
Australia in 1862 and was admitted to the N.S.W. Bar in 
the following June (Q.C. 1878). In 1868 he was nomi- 
nated for the Legislative Council and was a member for 
1 8 years. He was Vice-President of the Executive Coun- 
cil, 1881, and held the office to 1883. In 1884 he and his 


brother-in-law, Sir Peter Scratchley, were appointed a 
commission to enquire into the defences of the Colony. 
He declined the Chief Justiceship in 1886, but later in 
the same year accepted. In 1 891 he was made Lieutenant- 
Go vernor and was five times Acting Governor. In 1902, 
while on a visit to England he was appointed to the South 
African War Commission. He resigned his offices in 1909 
and went to England* Died there January 4th, 1910. 
(Kt. Bach. 1887; K.CM.G. 1897j G.C.M.G. 1901} 
P.C. 1905). 


Born in Upper Fort Street, Sydney, 1834. Edu- 
cated at St. Phillip's Church of England School and Aus- 
tralian College. Commenced business with a brother in 
the firm of J. C. Dibbs & Co. 1 865, settled at Valparaiso 
as a corn factor and successfully ran the Spanish blockade 
with cargoes of wheat and flour. Returned to Sydney, 
he resumed his previous business extending it to include 
shipowning and importing. 

1874 he entered public life. Was elected to the 
Assembly for West Sydney. Defeated for that seat 1 877. 
1882 was returned for St. Leonards and in the next year 
was Treasurer in the Stuart Ministry. In 1 885 he formed 
his first ministry. He was Colonial Secretary (1-886- 
1887). In 1889 he formed his second ministry and was 
defeated. In 1 891 he formed his third ministry and, dur- 
ing a subsequent visit to England, he was knighted per- 
sonally by Queen Victoria. At the election of 1 894, which 
was fought on the fiscal question, he was defeated and re- 
signed. In the following year he lost his seat in Parlia- 
ment and retired from politics. In 1896 was appointed 
Managing Trustee of the Government Savings Bank of 
New South Wales and held that position until his death 
in 1904. 



Born Sydney, 1832, and educated at the Australian 
College. Entered the employ o the Commercial Bank- 
ing Company, Sydney, 1 847, and remained with that Bank 
for the remainder of his life. In 1887 he was made 
General Manager of the Bank and for twenty-eight years 
in that capacity greatly influenced the financial position of 
New South Wales, being to a great extent the Financial 
Adviser for twenty-five years of every New South Wales 
ministry. In July 1915 he retired, remaining a Director 
of the Bank. 

He took a keen interest in all movements that could 
help soldiers and gave his house and estate, known as 
Greythwaite, on the heights of North Sydney, as a home 
for disabled men. For many years he gave the Church 
and Synod the benefit of his long experience in its financial 
affairs. He died in 1923. (Kt. Bach. 1917). 


Born Adelaide, 1844. Educated at St. Peter's Col- 
lege, trained for the law. Admitted to the local bar in 1 867 
and made a Q.C. in 1878. In that year he was elected 
to the Legislative Assembly from Barossa, which constitu- 
ency he represented until 1901. From 1881 to 1884 he 
was Attorney-General in the Bray Ministry and from 
1885 to 1887 and from 1892 to 1893 he was Premier. 
He represented his Colony at the Sydney Convention of 
1883; the Colonial Conference in London of 1887; and 
the Federal Conventions of 1891 and 1897-8. Was a 
member of the Federal Council of 1889 and elected to 
the first Senate of the Commonwealth (1901-3), at the 
end of his term returned to State politics. In 1905 en- 
tered the State Legislative Council. Of that body he was 
a member until his death, at Adelaide, 1915. (K.C.M.G. 



Born in 1834 at Leamington, Warwickshire, the 
second son of John Fairfax. Educated at private schools 
at Parramatta and Sydney. Engaged in newspaper work 
early in life and continued so till his death. Became head 
of John Fairfax and Sons upon the death of his father 
in 1 877. Knighted in 1898. Was at various times on the 
Directorates of the Banks of New South Wales, Commer- 
cial Banking Company of Sydney, A.M. P. Society, the 
Perpetual Trustee Company (of which he was one of the 
founders), and of Burns, Philp Ltd. President of the 
National Art Gallery of New South Wales. President of 
the Sydney Y.M.C.A. One of the founders of Sydney 
Boys' Brigade and of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. 
Trustee of the Royal Naval House and the National Ship- 
wreck Relief and Humane Society. President of the 
Royal Sydney Golf Club and Commodore of the Royal 
Sydney Yacht Squadron. Died at Ginahgulla, Sydney, 
March 28th, 1919. 

JOHN FAIRFAX (1804-1877) 

Born at Warwick, England, in 1 8 04. Arrived Aus- 
tralia in 1838 and came to Sydney. In 1839 he was ap- 
pointed Librarian to the Sydney Subscription Library 
(afterwards the Public Library). He became attached to 
the "Sydney Herald." He proved so valuable that the 
management drifted into his hands. In 1 841 John Fair- 
fax and Charles Kemp took over the "Herald," just es- 
tablished as a daily. In 1842 the name of the paper was 
changed to the "Sydney Morning Herald." In 1853 
John, Fairfax became sole proprietor. He took a promi- 
nent part in establishing the Australian Mutual Provident 
Society. In 1871 he was appointed to the Council of 
Education, In 1874 he was appointed to the Legislative 
Council and died in 1877. 


ALFRED FELTON (1831-1904) 

Born at Maldon, England, 1831. Came to Victoria, 
attracted by the news of the gold discoveries and arrived 
Melbourne 1853. Opened business as a Wholesale Drug- 
gist and General Merchant. In 1866 he joined F. S. 
Grimwade in founding the firm of Felton, Grimwade 
& Co., and in later years acquired large pastoral pro- 
perty. He employed his considerable wealth mainly on 
charitable and artistic objects and when he died in 1904 
left an estate of about 400,000 to be applied to the above 
objects in equal proportions. 

BARON (JOHN) FORREST (1847-1918) 

Born at Bunbury, Western Australia, 1847. Edu- 
cated at The Bishop's School, Perth. Entered the Survey 
Department at the age of eighteen and in 1 869 was given 
charge of an expedition into the interior of Western Aus- 
tralia, to search for the missing explorer, Leichhardt. In 
1 870 he led an expedition along the Bight to Adelaide and 
in 1874 traversed, the Colony from Champion Bay to the 
overland telegraph line between Adelaide and Port Dar- 
win, about 2700 miles. Was given the gold medal of the 
Royal Geographical Society of London as well as the title 
of Chevalier of the Order of the Crown of Italy and the 
Honorary Fellowship of the St. Petersburg, Vienna, and 
Italian Geographical Societies. Received the thanks of 
the Colonial Government and a grant of 5000 acres from 
the Imperial Authorities. 

In 1876 was appointed Deputy-Surveyor-General. 
In 1 878-79 he was Acting Commissioner of Crown Lands 
and Acting Surveyor General. In 1880-81, Acting Comp- 
troller of Government Expenditure. From 1 8 83 to 1 890 
he was Commissioner of Crown Lands and Surveyor- 
General with a seat in the Executive and Legislative 
Councils. With Responsible Government he became first 


Premier and Colonial Treasurer and held the office for 
nearly eleven years, resigning to undertake wider duties 
in the first Federal Parliament. During his term of office, 
were undertaken the important works of Fremantle Har- 
bour, the Goldfields Water Scheme, the development of 
the railway system to the goldfields and a wide and liberal 
land legislation. 

Was a member of both Federal Conventions and also 
represented his Colony in the Federal Councils of 1893- 
5-7-9, being President in 1897. In 1901 was elected for 
Swan to the Federal House of Representatives and re- 
tained that seat until his death. In the Federal Parlia- 
ments he held the offices of, Postmaster General (1901)5 
Minister for Defence (190 1-3) 5 Minister for Home 
Affairs (1903-4) 5 Treasurer (1905-7) 5 Acting Prime 
Minister (1907); Treasurer (1909-10 and 1913-14)} 
Treasurer ( 1 9 1 7 ) , but retired in 1 9 1 8 . In February 1918 
a peerage was conferred on him. He died at sea in 1918 
and his body was brought to Western Australia. 


Born in India in 1847 and brought to New South 
Wales in 1858. He entered the service of the Bank of 
New South Wales in 1863 and passed through all grades 
of the service, becoming Inspector in 1872, Chief Inspec- 
tor in 1891 and General Manager in 1894. Joined with 
Sir T. A. Dibbs in a campaign to obtain uniform banking 
legislation throughout Australia. Holding aloof from 
politics he became the adviser of State and Federal Trea- 
surers and made his Bank one of the most influential in 
Australia. He was associated with many welfare move- 
ments and was one of the original Trustees of the Walter 
and Eliza Hall Trust, he also acted as Advisor in financial 
matters associated with the Church. Died in Sydney 
192L (K.B.E. 1918). 



Born at Highbury, North London, 1835. Arrived 
Tasmania 1859, as Manager of a Branch o a London 
mercantile firm. In 1865 he strongly advocated the rail- 
way between Launceston and Hobart. He sat in the 
Council as Member for Hobart (1866-69) and Bucking- 
ham (1870-73, 1884-94)^ and in the Assembly as mem- 
ber for East Hobart (1873-78 and North Hobart 
(1894-98). Was treasurer in the Kennerley Ministry 
(1873-75), Premier, without office (1877-78) Premier 
and Chief Secretary (1887-92), Treasurer (1894-98). 
From 1875 to 1876 and in 1878 he was Minister without 
office in the Cabinets of the time. He represented Tas- 
mania at the Federal Convention of 1891 and 1897-98 
and became a member of the Finance Committee. Was 
Agent-General 1898-1901. Returning to Tasmania was 
elected to the Federal House of Representatives and in 
1903 and 1906 for Denison. From 1901 to 1903 was 
Honorary Minister then Postmaster General. He retired 
from politics in 1910 and died at Hobart in 1919. 
(K.CM.G. 1896). 


Born at Shipley, in Yorkshire, England, in 1821 and 
apprenticed to a wool-stapling firm in Bradford. Started 
on a small scale as a wool-merchant in 1842. Arrived 
Adelaide 1847 and then moved to Melbourne. Com- 
menced business in the latter city in 1848. In 1853 he 
established a Stock and Station business with Messrs. Row 
& Kirk and bought stations in the Riverina. Deciding 
in 1857 to confine his energies to wool-broking he de- 
veloped that business, eventually amalgamating, in 1881, 
with another firm and founding the house of R. Golds- 
brough & Co., with a capital of three millions. He died 
in 1886. After his death his Company absorbed the 


famous firm of Mort & Co. and eventually other similar 
businesses under the name of Goldsbrough Mort & Co., 
which is one of the greatest wool businesses in Australia. 

JOHN GOULD (1804-1881) 

Born at Lyme Regis, in Dorset, England, 1804. 
From early years he was interested in wild bird life and 
taxidermy and at fourteen was working under his father, 
who was foreman gardener at Windsor Castle. 

In 1827 he was appointed taxidermist to the Zoo- 
logical Society of London and three years later re- 
ceiving from the Himalayas a collection of bird- 
skins produced his first volume of bird illustrations, 
"The Century of Himalayan Birds." In 1837 he pub- 
lished a "Synopsis of the Birds of Australia" and in 1838 
himself went to Australia spending two years in collect 
ing and the instruction of subordinate collectors. On 
his return to England in 1 840 he commenced the publi- 
cation of his great work on Australian birds in seven vol- 
umes containing 601 plates. In 1844 he brought out 
a "Study of the Macropodidae" (Kangaroos) and between 
1845 and 1863 produced three volumes on "The Mam- 
mals of Australia," In 1865 he issued a "Handbook to 
the Birds of Australia" and between 1875 and 1880 
"The Birds of New Guinea and the Adjacent Papuan 
Islands." In 1 843 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal 
Society and died in London 1881. 


Born at Myrthyr Tydvil, in Wales, 1 845, and brought 
by his parents to New South Wales in 1854. He was 
educated at the University of Sydney (B.A. 1863, M.A. 
1870) and won the Mort Travelling Fellowship. Re- 
turning to Brisbane he was articled to Arthur Macalister 


and in 1867 was called to the bar of Queensland (Q.C. 
1876). In 1871 he entered the Queensland Legisla- 
tive Assembly as Member for East Moreton and in 1874 
became Attorney-General. During the next five years 
he was continually in office as Attorney-General and Sec- 
retary for Public Instruction (1876-79) and during 1878 
also as Secretary for Public Works 5 Premier 1883-88. 
From 1890-93 he was nominally head of a coalition 
Government and in the latter year retired from politics 
to become Chief Justice of the Colony. 

He was one of the Queensland Representatives at 
the Colonial Conference of 1887 and at the Intercolonial 
Conference of 1883 had carried a proposal for the setting 
up of a Federal Australasian Council, which in 1885 was 
embodied in an Imperial Act. He represented Queens- 
land at the preliminary Federal Conference of 1890 and 
at the Convention of 1 89 1 of which he was Vice-President. 
He was Chairman of the Sub-Committee which drafted 
the Convention's Bill and the Bill was, in the main his 
personal work. In 1903, when the High Court of Aus- 
tralia was established Griffith was offered the Chief Jus- 
ticeship. In 1904 he was made a member of the Senate 
of the University of Sydney. In 1919 he resigned the 
Chief Justiceship of Australia and died in 1920 at Bris- 
bane. (K.C.M.G. 1886; G.C.M.G. 1895; P.C. 1901). 


Born in England in 1850 and when his father 
migrated to Australia was left in England to continue his 
education. Arrived Australia in 1866, was apprenticed 
to an engineering firm and afterwards was assistant at the 
Sydney Observatory, where he first became interested in 
human flight. In 1884-92 he experimented with mono- 
plane models, first with flapping wings and later with 
screws. With these models, flights of 300 to 400 feet 


were repeatedly made in a horizontal course, but they 
could not rise from the ground or steer to right or left. 
Prominent among his discoveries at this time was the 
rotary aeroplane engine made in 1889. It weighed only 
7% ounces and made 456 revolutions per minute. In 1892 
he began to experiment with curved surfaces. The in- 
creased lift obtained with these opened up a new and 
larger field for research and resulted in the production of 
cellular kites. In 1894, by means of four kites weigh- 
ing 34 Ib. 13 oz. he succeeded in raising a weight of 
208 Ib. a distance of 16ft. from the ground in a 21- 
miles-per-hour wind. He died at Sydney in 1915. 

JAMES HARRISON (1815-1893) 

Born at Renton, in Dumbartonshire, Scotland, in 
1815, and apprenticed to a printer at Glasgow. In 1837 
was sent out to Sydney in charge of some printing material 
to be used in the production of the "Literary News" to 
which magazine he contributed while working on the 
"Monitor" and the "Sydney Herald." In 1839 he 
moved to Melbourne and joined Fawkner on the "Port 
Phillip Patriot" and then went to Geelong to edit the 
"Advertiser." In 1842 Harrison bought Fawkner out 
and in 1851 began to publish the "Australian" a literary 
quarterly. He represented Geelong in the Victorian 
Legislature from 1856 to 1861. 

About 1852 he began to study the formation of ice 
by the evaporation of ether and in 1856 and 1857 
patented his process. At Rodey Point on the Barwon 
he built the first ice factory in Australia, but finding that 
ice-making machinery, on a commercial scale, was unob- 
tainable in Melbourne or Sydney he went to London to 
exploit his invention. He returned to Victoria in 1859 
with a large machine and installed it in a factory in Frank- 
lin Street, Melbourne, producing with it up to 10 tons of 


ice a day. In 1861 Harrison was made bankrupt and 
the purchasers of the "Advertiser" offered him the post 
of editor. In 1865 he abandoned the "Advertiser" and 
started the "Geelong Register." Selling this newspaper 
he returned to Melbourne where he became sub-editor of 
the "Age." In 1873 he produced a new process for 
freezing carcasses for export. For this he was awarded 
a gold medal at the Melbourne Exhibition of 1873 and 
on proving that the cost of freezing and freightage would 
not exceed 7/ per ton was given 2500 to take 25 tons 
of frozen beef to London. The process did not succeed 
for beef, while successful for mutton. In 1892 he re- 
turned to Geelong and settled down at Point Henry and 
resumed intermittently his connection with the "Age." He 
died in 1893. 

SIR JOHN HAY (1816-1892) 

Born at Little Ythsie, in Aberdeenshire, and educated 
at the University at Aberdeen (M.A. 1834), Studied for 
the Scottish bar in Edinburgh, but in 1838 migrated to 
New South Wales and took up land for pastoral purposes 
on the Upper Murray. In 1856 he was elected, unop- 
posed, for the Murrumbidgee constituency Secretary for 
Lands and Works (1856-57). Represented successively, 
Murray (1856-64) and Central Cumberland (1864-67). 
Chosen speaker 1 862 but resigned for reasons of health in 
1865. In 1867 he was nominated to the Council and in 
1873 became its President, a position he held until his 
death in 1892. (K.CM.G. 1878.) 


Eldest son of the late Captain Joseph Long Innes. 
Educated at Mr. George Cape's school and later at King's 
School, Parramatta. He entered the Survey Office 1851, 


and in same year transferred to Department of Justice 
and made clerk to Mr Gold Commissioner Zouch at 
Sofala on the Turon. From 1854 to 1856 was associate 
to Sir Alfred Stephen, Chief Justice of N.'S. Wales. In 
1 856 went to England to study law, called to the English 
Bar in 1859. Returning to Sydney he was admitted to 
the N.S. Wales Bar on 28th February, 1863. In 1865 
accepted a District Court Judgeship in Queensland, re- 
signed in 1869 and resumed practice at the N.S.W. bar. 
In 1872 entered N.S. Wales Legislative Assembly as 
member for Mudgee. Joined Parkes's first ministry as 
Solicitor General, appointed to the Legislative Council, 
and appointed Attorney General. In 1874 accompanied 
Sir Hercules Robinson to Fiji to negotiate the cession of 
these Islands to Great Britain and was in January, 1875, 
knighted for his services in that connection and was 
offered, but refused, the Chief Justiceship of the new 
Colony. In 1875 appointed Chairman of Committees of 
the Legislative Council, but resigned in 1880 to become 
Minister of Justice in Sir Henry Parkes's third ministry. 
1881, was appointed a Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court 
of N.S. Wales, and died on 28th October 1896, while still 
in office as Senior Puisne Judge. Was a Trustee of the 
National Art Gallery. 


Born in Melbourne, 1855, and educated at the 
Beechworth Grammar School and at the University of 
Melbourne (LL.M. 1880). Called to the Victorian bar 
in 1880 (Q.C. 1899). In 1892 he was returned to the 
Legislative Assembly for the Bogong electorate and Soli- 
citor-General (1893-94) and Attorney-General (1894- 
99 and 1900-1)- Leaving State for Federal politics he 
was elected by Indi (Victoria) to the House of Represent- 
atives and became Attorney-General in 1905-6. In the 
latter year he was elevated to the High Court Bench. 


HENRY KENDALL (1841-1882) 

Born at Kirmington, near Milton, New South Wales 
in 184L He spent two years (1855-57) as a cabin boy 
on board his uncle's brig in the Pacific. Returning to 
Sydney in 1857 he began to write verse his first being 
published in 1859 in "The Australian Home Companion" 
and later in "The Empire" and "The Sydney Morning 
Herald." In 1862 he published "Poems and Songs" 
and in 1863 he was given a position in the Surveyor- 
General's office and in 1866 he was transferred to the 
Premier's office. 

In 1868 he won a prize for the best Australian verse 
and encouraged by this success decided to earn his living 
as a writer, resigning his official position and moving to 
Melbourne. In this city he published his second volume, 
"Leaves from Australian Forests." He returned to 
Sydney in 1871 and in 1873 went to Camden Haven. 
During his next seven years he produced some of his best 
poems among which are "Orara," "Hy-Brasil," "Cooran- 
bean," "After Many Years." He won a prize offered 
by the "Sydney Morning Herald" on the Sydney Inter- 
national Exhibition and in 1880 published "Songs from 
the Mountains." In 1881 he was made Inspector of 
State Forests. He died at Redfern in 1882. 


Sir Kelso King started as a jackeroo on a Queens- 
land Station when between 15 and 16 years of age, 
and after spending twelve months on the land, he joined 
first, the Bank of N.S.W., and, later, the Commercial 
Banking Co. of Sydney, with which he remained for 
about six years. He was appointed Secretary to the 


Mercantile Mutual on the 19th December, 1877, just 
before his twenty-fourth birthday. Since that time he 
has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Company, 
of which he is now Managing Director. 

He also holds the position of Managing Director 
Australian General Insurance Co. 

As a public spirited citizen he has shown a tireless 
energy that has been the wonder of all who knew 
the great responsibilities he carries in the commercial 
world. Among his many activities those that will per- 
haps be of the most lasting benefit to the nation, on ac- 
count of the splendid training in citizenship and develop- 
ment which they give to the character and physique of 
the youth of to-day, are the following: 

The Boy Scouts' Association. 

The Royal Naval House. 

The Navy League. 

The Royal Life-Saving Society. 

The King's School Council. 

Trinity Grammar School. 

The Walter and Eliza Hall Trust. 

The latter includes in its work assistance to many 
splendid institutions, schools, colleges, and universities, 
essential to the development of the minds and bodies 
of the growing generations. 


Born in Sydney, 1858, educated as a Surveyor. In 
1877 joined the staff of the New South Wales Survey 
Department and in 1889 was appointed to a lectureship 
in Surveying and allied subjects at the University of Syd- 
ney. In 1902 he was despatched by the N.S.W. Govern- 
ment to the United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, and the 


United States to report on all branches of education. On 
his return (1905-6) he was appointed Director of Techni- 
cal Education and was also Acting-Director of Physics at 
the University. In 1906 he became Commonwealth 
Statistician and adviser to the Federal Government on 
taxation and devised the mathematical formulas which 
control Australian land and income tax rates. In 1921 
he became Director of the Commonwealth Institute of 
Science and Industry, now the Commonwealth Council for 
Scientific and Industrial Research. He retired in March 

For nine years he was Honorary Secretary of the 
Royal Society of N.S.W. and President in 1898-99. He 
presided over the Institution of Surveyors for four years 
(1892-93 and 1900-1); over the Society for Child Study 
for three years (1 903-5 )j and over the British Astro- 
nomical Society's N.S.W. Branch for two years ( 1897-98). 
He represented the Australian Government at five Inter- 
national Congresses and at two Imperial Conferences and 
was a member of Royal Commissions on Insurance (1909- 
10) and taxation of Crown leaseholds (1918-19). Dur- 
ing the war he was a member of a Royal Commission on 
Trade and Industry and a Consulting Member of a 
Committee on Munitions and carried out a war-census of 
persons fit for war service and another on the wealth of 
the Australian people. 

He is a member of the Institute International de 
Statistique, an Honorary Member of the Societe de Statis- 
tique de Paris and of the American Statistical Association, 
an Honorary Fellow of the Statistical Society, a Fellow 
of the Royal Astronomical Society and a Director of the 
Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society. (C.M.G. 1911 j 
Kt. 1923.) 



Born in Sydney, N.S.W., 1 863, and educated at Har- 
row and at the University of Cambridge (LL.B. 1885). 
Called to the bar of the Inner Temple on May 19th, 
1886. Represented Woollahra in the New South Wales 
Legislature from 1894 to 1898. In 1906-15, and again 
in 1916-19, he was Chairman of the Australian Jockey 
Club and in 1915-16 he visited Europe as Commissioner 
for the Australian Red Cross Association. In October 
1919 he was made Chief Justice of the High Court of 
Australia. In 1920 he was made a member of the Judi- 
cial Committee of the Privy Council and sat on a Com- 
mission that investigated the constitutional questions in 
connection with the boundary between Ulster and the 
Irish Free State. He was also one of the original Trus- 
tees of the Walter and Eliza Hall Trust, which he held 
until 1919. (P.C. 19205 K.C.M.G. 1921). 

MR EDWARD KNOX (1819-1901) 

Born to British parents domiciled at Elsinor in Den- 
mark. Educated at a leading Danish School, Soro, and 
at the University of Lubeck, one of the Hansiatic Free 
Towns. Was for a short time in a London office and left 
for Australia in 1 839, where after ventures in farming 
,and commerce he became Official Assignee. 1 843 manager 
of a small sugar refining company. 1 844 joined Board of 
Commercial Banking Company of Sydney. 1847 Man- 
ager of Bank. 1854 resigned managership of Bank to 
devote all his time to sugar enterprise which was then 
being amalgamated into the Colonial Sugar Refining Co. 
1 857 went to England on behalf of the Victoria Sugar Co., 
<of which he was Managing Director. On his return he 
was associated with Mr. Graf ton Ross in the management 
of the C.S.R. Co. In 1887 he arranged the amalgama- 
tion of the Sydney Company with others in Victoria and 


New Zealand. While on holiday in Europe the Banking 
crisis occurred and he returned to Sydney March 1893. 
He had just been made Chairman of Directors of the 
Commercial Bank. He retained both Chairmanships of 
the Sugar and Banking Companies, until his death in 
1901. He was a member of the N.S.W. Legislative Coun- 
cil from May 1 856 to November 1 857 and from Decem- 
ber 1881 to September 1894. Closely associated with 
management of Prince Alfred Hospital and Chairman of 
Board of Directors at time of his death. He was con- 
nected with the control of the Church of England for 
many years especially with the Finance Committee of the 
Synod. For a long time he was Churchwarden in his own 
Parish and for more than thirty years a member of St. 
Andrew's Cathedral Chapter. (Kt. Bach. 1 897). 


Born at Greenock, in Scotland, in 1799. Entered 
the University of Glasgow at the age of twelve (M.A. 
1820, D.D. 1825), received his licence to preach on June 
1st, 1820. Arrived in Sydney 1823. On July 1st, 1824, 
laid the foundation-stone of Scot's Church on Church 
Hill. Later visited England to secure funds for the 
establishment of a Presbyterian College in Sydney, which 
was completed in 1835. 

In 1835 he organised a Presbytery in Tasmania and 
in 1836 went to Scotland to secure preachers. On Sep- 
tember 3rd, 1837, he returned to Sydney accompanied by 
eight ministers and four probationers. 

In 1854 he was returned to the Legislative Council 
as member for Stanley (Moreton Bay) and was prominent 
in the agitation for the separation from New South Wales. 
He was also a firm advocate of Federation and an Aus- 


traiia independent of Great Britain. He was unable to 
take his seat in the Council owing to the prohibition 
against the clergy being members of Parliament, but on 
this disability being removed in 1859 he took his seat 
and retained it until he retired from politics in 1 869. He 
wrote several books. In 1872 he was made Moderator 
of the General Assembly of the Church in New South 
Wales. He died in 1878. 


Born at Weddin Mountain diggings, near Grenfell, 
N.S.W., 1867. Moved to Sydney in 1883 where he was 
a house and coach painter. In 1887 he was working in 
Melbourne and in 1889-90 at Albany, in W.A. During 
this period he was engaged in journalism helping hi? 
mother with her "Republican" and "Dawn." In October 
1887 the "Bulletin" published his "Song of the Republic" 
and thereafter took most of his verses and stories. In 
1891 he was on the Brisbane "Boomerang." In 1892 
he was commissioned by the "Bulletin" to tramp from 
Bourke to Hungerford, working on the stations en route. 

In 1893 he edited the "Worker" and then went to 
New Zealand. On his return he was given a post in the 
office of the New South Wales Government Statistician. 
In 1 894 his first book "Short Stories in Prose and Verse" 
was published from the "Dawn" office. Thereafter he 
produced prolifically. He died in 1922. 


Born at Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, 1830, edu- 
cated at University College, London. Was articled to 
a London Solicitor and emigrated to Queensland in 1856. 
While practising his profession in that Colony he edited 
the "Moreton Bay Courier." When Queensland became 


a separate Colony he was elected to the first Assembly 
for Fortitude Valley, a suburb of Brisbane, and remained 
member for that constituency until he retired from politics 
in 1874 In 1865 he was Attorney-General and with 
the exception of three weeks retained it until 1867. He 
was Premier in 1868-70. In 1874 he was made a tem- 
porary judge of the Supreme Court and in 1879 became 
Chief Justice of the Colony. In 1 893 he resigned from the 
bench and died in 1897. 

He was a great educationalist and had a large part 
in the founding of the Brisbane Grammar School and 
was for many years Chairman of Trustees of that school. 
In 1874 he was Chairman of a Royal Commission on 
Education. In 1891 he was Chairman of a Royal Com- 
mission on the establishment of a Queensland University. 
He was also, while Attorney-General, a member of the 
Royal Commission which in 1866-67 revised the Statute 
Laws of the Colony. (Kt Bach. 1881.) 


Born at Subiaco, near Parramatta, N.S.W., 1825, 
and educated at King's School, Parramatta, and afterwards 
coached by Dr. Woolls, and studied for Anglican orders. 
Ordained Deacon 1 848 and Priest 1 849. Appointed to 
St. Mark's Church, Darling Point, Sydney, 1852, and 
while there opened St. Mark's Collegiate School. In 
1858 he resigned the parish and moved his school to Mac- 
quarie Fields, about 27 miles south-west of Sydney. He 
modelled the school on the lines of the great English 
Public Schools, and established the first Cadet Corps in 
Australia. In 1868 he was invited to become head of 
The King's School, which had been closed since 1864. 
He accepted the post and successfully rebuilt the school. 
In June 1886 he resigned and lived in retirement until 
his death in 1890. 



Born at Parramatta, N.S.W., in 1800. Educated 
at Grove Hall Academy, Bow, England. In 1817 he 
returned to Australia and devoted himself to farming and 
in 1839 brought out six vine-dressers to improve the 
Camden vineyards. In 1841 he gained medals in Lon- 
don for exhibits of wine and brandy and in 1844 pub- 
lished a book "On the Culture of the Vine, Fermentation, 
and the Management of Wine of the Cellar." He sat 
in the N.S.W. Legislative Council from 1849 to 1855 
when he was made Commissioner for the Paris Exhibi- 
tion and was decorated with the Legion of Honour by the 
French Emperor. He returned to Australia in 1857 
and resumed his- work at Camden Park. He repeated his 
success of Paris at the London Exhibition of 1862, and 
after his return to the Colony in 1864 was nominated to 
the Legislative Council. His seat lapsed in his absence 
in August 1882. Died in 1882 (Kt. Bach. 1856). 


Born at Glasgow, Scotland, in 1854 and educated 
at the Glasgow High School and the University of Glas- 
gow (B.A. 1875; M.A. 1877; LL.D. 1907). Won the 
Luke Fellowship at his University and afterwards 
studied at Berlin and Leipzig. Appointed Professor of 
English Literature and History in the University of 
Wales in 1879 and in 1887 became Challis Professor of 
Modern Literature in the University of Sydney, resign- 
ing in 1920. He was nominated Professor Emeritus and 
the chair having been divided into four when he left 
it Honorary Professor of English Literature. In 1898- 
1914 and 1916-19, he was Dean of the Faculty of Arts 
and an ex-officio Member of the Senate. Since 1919 he 
has been elected a Member of that body. Vice-Chancel- 
lor in 1924 (the first time the title was applied to the 


Chief Administrative Officer of the University). In 
1906-12 he was Chairman of Trustees of the Public 
Library of New South Wales and a member of the 
Commonwealth Literary Pensions Board. In 1925 the 
University of Oxford made him an honorary D.Litt, 
(K.C.M.G. 1926). 


Born at Tullynuey, near Ballymena, Ireland, 1835. 
Migrated to Australia in 1 856. After a short experience 
on his uncle's Kewell Station he was made manager. In 
I860, he, with two partners, bought Coonong Station 
and there built up a remarkable stud flock of sheep with a 
foundation of a draft of Widgiewa ewes and a draft of 
rams from Mona Vale, in Tasmania. In 1883 he bought 
ten Calif ornian rams and some American ewes in Sydney 
and shortly afterwards visited America and brought back 
524 stud sheep selected from the best strains in Ver- 
mont. In 1880 he bought Toorale and Dunlop Stations 
on the Darling River and in 1881 invested largely in 
Queensland Stations. At one time he shore a million 
sheep a year. 

In 1 899 he bought North Yanco Station on the Mur- 
rumbidgee and from a dam and pumping station a few 
miles above constructed many miles of channel to irrigate 
40,000 acres. In 1911-12 he sold Toorale and Dunlop 
Stations as well as his Queensland Stations, and in 1919 
he sold Coonong to his nephew, Roy McCaughey. From 
1899 to 1919 he was a member of the N.S.W. Legisla- 
tive Council. Died in 1919, leaving many valuable be- 
quests to educational and charitable institutions. (Kt. 
Bach. 1905). 

SIR FREDERICK McCOY (1823-1899) 

Born in Dublin in 1823 and educated in that City 
and at Cambridge. He was diverted from the practice 


of medicine (for which he had been trained) by a com- 
mission to arrange collections of specimens for the Geo- 
logical Society of Ireland and the Royal Irish Academy. 
Later he was engaged on palaeontological enquiries and in 
1 846 was- invited to Cambridge to arrange a collection in 
the Woodwardian Museum. During this engagement he 
was appointed (in 1850) to the Chair of Mineralogy 
and Geology at Queen's College, Belfast, and carried on 
the two tasks until, in 1854, his Cambridge work was 
completed. In 1854 he was made Professor of Natural 
Science at the Melbourne University and also controlled 
the study of geology, zoology, palaeontology, botany, 
mineralogy, chemistry, and comparative anatomy. Of 
these subjects he retained four for himself and as soon 
as possible handed on the remaining subjects to other 
teachers. His most important contribution to the Col- 
ony was the establishment, and building up, of the Na- 
tional Museum. In 1886 the University of Cambridge 
made him a D.Sc.j the Geological Society of London 
awarded him the Murchison Medal (1879) ; the Royal 
Society made him a Fellow (1880) 5 and he received 
other honours from Societies in Italy and Austria. Died 
in Melbourne, 1899. (C.M.G. 18865 K.C.M.G. 1891). 

SIR WILLIAM MacGREGOR (1846-1919) 

Born at Towie, Aberdeenshire, in 1846. Educated 
at the Strathdon Manse. In 1867 entered King's College, 
Aberdeen. Studied medicine at Glasgow and at Aber- 
deen (M.B. and CM. 1872 5 Watson Gold Medal? L.R. 
C.P. Edin. 1872; M.D. 1874; Hon. D.Sc. Camb.j Hon. 
D.Sc. Queensland). Also studied at Berlin, Florence, 
and Paris. Migrate^ to the Seychelles where, in 1873, 
he was Assistant Medical Officer. In 1 874 was appointed 
surgeon of the Port Louis Civil Hospital, in the Mauri- 
tius. From 1875-88 he was Chief Medical Officer in 


Fiji, at times acting as Receiver-General, Commissioner 
for Lands, Colonial Secretary and Auditor and also as 
High Commissioner and Consul-General of the Western 
Pacific. In 1 876 he suppressed a disturbance in the moun- 
tains of Viti Levu, and in 1877 was appointed a member 
of the Native Regulation Board. In 1886, as Colonial 
Secretary to the Fiji Commission, he sat on the first 
Federal Council of Australasia ; and in 1888 he was ap- 
pointed Administrator of British New Guinea (Lieu- 
tenant-Governor 1895). In 1899 he was made Gover- 
nor of Lagos. In 1904 he was transferred to Newfound- 

In 1909 he became Governor of Queensland, retiring 
in 1914. In 1911 he was elected first Chancellor of the 
University of Queensland, which was established mainly 
through his efforts. He was awarded the Founder's 
Medal of the Royal Geographical Society for his explor- 
ations in the interior of New Guinea, and the Mary 
Kingsley Gold Medal for combating malarial fever in 
Lagos. He died at Aberdeen in 1919. (C.M.G. 1881} 
K.CM.G. 1889; CB. 1897; G.C.M.G. 1907; P.C. 

HUGH VICTOR McKAY (1865-1926) 

Born at Raywood, Victoria, 1865, and educated at 
Drummarton State School. He became a farmer and 
in 1884 invented a harvesting machine which was an im- 
provement on previous machines. In 1888 he built a 
factory at Ballarat and the merits of his machine became 
acknowledged both at home and abroad. In 1906 he 
transferred his plant from Ballarat to Sunshine, near Mel- 
bourne. There he transformed a wilderness into a model 
township of more than 4000 inhabitants around a factory 
covering 35 acres. He employed over 2000 hands. His 
wages bill exceeded 600,000 per annum; most of the 
material used in the factory is of Australian production. 


During the war he was a member of the Board of 
Business Administration associated with the Defence De- 
partment and the Sunshine Works were used for the 
manufacture of munitions. He died at Rupertswood, 
Victoria, 1926. (C.B.E. 1918.) 


Born in Melbourne 1863. Studied sculpture under 
his father and at the school attached to the Melbourne 
Gallery. Left for London 1882, studied at the Art 
School of the Royal Academy. In 1885 he went to Paris 
and in 1886 returned to England to take charge of the 
Art Department of some Potteries at Coalport, in Shrop- 
shire. In 1887 he was commissioned to design and carve 
the panels on the front facade of the Victorian Houses 
of Parliament. In 1891 he returned to Paris and settled 
there. In 1893 he exhibited at the Salon the original 
model of the "Circe" now in the Melbourne Gallery and 
was awarded a "Mention Honorable." In 1894 he 
crossed to London and in 1901 and 1926 revisited Aus- 

Since 1894 he has exhibited regularly at the Aca- 
demy and was made an Associate in 1909 the first Aus- 
tralian to be admitted and a full member in 1922. 
(M.V.O. 1912 5 K.C.V.O. 1921). 

JOHN McKINLAY (1819-1872) 

Born at Sandbank, on the Clyde, in 1819, and came 
to New South Wales in 1 836 to join his uncle on a sheep- 
station. Ten years later he settled at Ki, on the Murray, 
South Australia. He began to explore the unknown coun- 
try lying between the Darling and Lake Torrens, took 
up several runs on that area. In 1861 he was chosen by 
the Government to lead the search for Burke and Wills. 
On his return the South Australian Government made 


him a grant of 1000 and in 1863 the Royal Geographi- 
cal Society of England presented him with a gold watch. 
In 1865 he was sent to investigate the area between the 
Adelaide, Liverpool and Roper rivers in the hope of 
finding a site for the Northern Territory Capital. On 
his return south he settled on his farm near Gawler. Died 
in 1872. 


Born at Kilconquhar, Fifeshire, Scotland, 1835. 
Educated at the Universities of St. Andrews and Edin- 
burgh (MIX 1857). Joined the Navy in 1858 as As- 
sistant Surgeon, served at Athens during the revolution 
of 1862. Later was Medical Officer at Greenwich Hos 
pital. Retiring from the Navy in 1871 he migrated to 
New South Wales, settled at Sydney. In 1883 he was 
elected a Fellow of the University Senate 5 in 1885 ap- 
pointed Chairman of the Board of Health and of the Im- 
migration Board} in 1889 was nominated to the Legisla- 
tive Council. In 1893-94 represented the Dibbs Ministry 
in that House. A Director of the Bank of New South 
Wales and a Trustee of St. Andrews College, within the 
University, and of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. 
Vice-Chancellor of the University in 1887-89 and in 
1895-96 and Chancellor from 1896 until his death. Died 
in 1914. (Kt. Bach. 1902), 


Born at Wick, Caithness-shire, Scotland, 1 820. Edu- 
cated at the University of Edinburgh. Was trained for 
the medical profession but was induced by his uncle to 
come to Australia, arriving in 1839. He took up sheep 
farming near Goulburn and later on the Murrumbidgee. 


In 1855 was elected to the Legislative Council by the dis- 
tricts of Lachlan and Lower Darling, and under the new 
constitution from 1856 to 1859. In 1859 was elected 
member for Murrumbidgee and held the seat until 1874 
when he resigned to lead an expedition to New Guinea. 
On his return in 1877 was nominated to the Legislative 
Council and remained a member until his death. 

In 1863 he was Chairman of a Committee of the 
Assembly on the defence of Port Jackson. In 1880 he 
was Chairman of a Commission to inquire into Australian 
fisheries, which resulted in the Act of 1881, still in force. 
In 1862 he founded the Entomological Society of New 
South Wales, which lapsed in 1873, but the following 
year was established its more comprehensive successor, 
the Linnean Society of New South Wales, carried on 
mainly through his generosity. For many years he was 
a Trustee of the Australian Museum (Kt. Bach. 1889). 

SIR JOHN MADDEN (1844-1918) 

Born at Cork, Ireland, 1 844. Educated in England 
and France and at the University of Melbourne (B.A. 
1863 5 LL.B. 1865} LL.D. 1869). Came with his par- 
ents to Victoria in 1857. In 1868 was admitted to the 
Victorian bar. In 1874 was elected Member for West 
Bourke. Minister for Justice 1875. In 1876 he was 
elected for Sandridge (now Port Melbourne) and held 
the seat until he retired from politics in 1883. In 1880 
he was Minister for Justice. He was made Chief Jus- 
tice in 1893 and in 1899 was formally appointed Lieut- 
enant-Governor. In 1875-79 was Warden of the Senate 
of the University of Melbourne, in 1889-97 Vice-Chan- 
cellor and from 1907 to his death, Chancellor. During 
a visit to England he received honorary degrees from the 
Universities of Oxford and Aberdeen. Died at Mel- 
bourne 1918. (Kt. Bach. 1893} K.C.M.G. 1899> 
G.C.M.G. 1906). 




Born at Alphington, Devon, 1811. Educated at 
University College, London. Admitted to the English 
bar in 1832. In 1837 he migrated to New South Wales. 
In 1844 was Solicitor-General and held the post until 
responsible Government in 1856, with an interval during 
which he acted as judge. In 1851 he was appointed 
to the Legislative Council and took a considerable part 
in moulding the Constitution Bill of 1853. In 1856 was 
elected to the Assembly, became Attorney-General, hold- 
ing office till 1857, when he retired on account of ill- 
health. Was appointed Attorney-General in 1859, but 
retired. In 1861 he was nominated to the Council and 
remained a member until 1876, being Attorney-General 
1868-70. In 1 876 he was made a Judge of the Supreme 
Court and Primary Judge in Equity. Retiring 1887 he 
devoted the rest of his life to the University of Sydney 
of which he was Chancellor in 1878 and died 1895 
(Kt. Bach. 1858). 


Born in 1 846 at Surry Hills, Sydney. 

Business career was commenced as Clerk in the Syd- 
ney Paper Company, and continued afterwards in the 
firm of P. N. Russell & Co. 

Subsequently became Chartered Accountant and re- 
ceived appointment^ as Manager of the affairs of a num- 
ber of large English investors in N.S.W. Was retained 
as Auditor of several leading Corporations including the 
Mercantile Mutual Insurance Company Limited (which 
position he held from its incorporation in 1878, until his 
death) and the Commercial Banking Company of Syd- 


Took a leading part in the reconstructions of vari- 
ous Banks. Was a Director of the Australian Bank of 
Commerce Ltd. Subsequently became Chairman and so 
continued till just prior to his death. 

Entered public life as Alderman for Bourke Ward 
m the Sydney Municipal Council and was elected Mayor 
of Sydney on four consecutive occasions. 

Was elected to the Parliament of New South Wales 
as Representative of South Sydney in the Legislative 

For many years took a leading part in the manage- 
ment of the Industrial Blind Institute of N.S.W. and 
held the position of President of the Philharmonic So- 

CONRAD MARTENS (1801-1878) 

Born in the parish of Crutched Friars, near the 
Tower in London, England, and from his youth was de- 
voted to art. He chose Copley Fielding, a fashionable 
teacher of the period, for his master. In 1832 he left 
England for South America and later on the Beagle 
arriving at Monte Video, replaced Augustus Earle as 
official topographer of the expedition. He left the 
B 'eagle at Valparaiso in 1834 and went to Tahiti. 1835 
left Tahiti for Sydney, and set up as a drawing master. 
In 1844 he built for himself a cottage at St. Leonards on 
the northern side of the harbour. Most of his income 
was derived from painting or drawing big country houses 
for their owners and from the sale of views of Sydney 
Harbour including a notable hand-coloured lithograph 
of Sydney from the North Shore. In 1 863, when too old 
to continue painting he was made Assistant Parliamentary 
Librarian. He died in 1878. 


SIR JAMES MARTIN (1820-1886) 

Born at Midleton, Ireland, 1 820, and arrived New 
South Wales in 1821. Educated at the Sydney Academy 
and Sydney College, He joined the staff of the "Aus- 
tralian." In 1838 he published a small book of essays. 
In 1840 he was articled to G. R. Nichols and in 1845 
was admitted a Solicitor. When the "Atlas" was estab- 
lished in 1844 he contributed largely and later became 
editor. In 1848 he was elected to the Legislative Coun- 
cil for Cook and Westmoreland, but was unseated on 
petition, not having the requisite property qualification. 
In 1 849 he was returned unopposed and retained the seat 
until the dissolution of the Council in 1856. Under re- 
sponsible Government he became Attorney-General and 
in 1857 was called to the bar, resigning his office the fol- 
lowing year. In 1863 he became Premier and Attorney- 
General, and again formed a ministry in 1866. In Octo- 
ber 1868 he resigned, but from 1870-72 was again Pre- 
mier and Attorney-General. In 1873 he was appointed 
Chief Justice of New South Wales. From 1858 to 1878 
he was a member of the Senate of the University of 
Sydney. Died in 1886. (K.C.B. 1869). 


Born at Winchester in 1813 and educated at Win- 
chester School. Studied law and was called to the bar 
at the Middle Temple 1838. Migrated the next year 
to Sydney and was admitted to the local bar, combining 
the practice of the law with journalism. In 1848 he 
was elected first Chairman of the Australian Mutual Pro- 
vident Society. Settled at Melbourne when he became 
a nominee member of the Council. Dropped politics 
to own the "Herald" and became famous through his suc- 
cessful defence of the Eureka rioters in 1855. He re- 
presented Melbourne in the Legislative Council (1856- 


59)5 StKilda (1859-61); Polwarth (1863-66); StKilda 
(1866-68); and South Gippsland (1868-71); and sat in 
the Council during 1871-72. Was Attorney-General in 
1857-58; Minister for Justice, 1863-66; Attorney- 
General, 1870-71; and in 1873 was appointed Agent- 
General, which post he held until 1 879 when he returned 
to Melbourne and retired from politics. He died in 1899 
(K.C.M.G. 1878). 



Born near Wollongong, N.S.W., 1860, and educated 
at Deniliquin Public School. In 1876 he entered the 
employ of the Bank of New South Wales and during 36 
years 7 service rose to be Chief Metropolitan Inspector. 
In 1912 the Commonwealth Government appointed him 
Governor of the newly established Commonwealth Bank 
and he proved himself one of the leading financial men of 
the country. Died in 1923. (K.C.M.G. 1920). 


Born in Sydney, 1836. Was admitted to Sydney 
University (B.A. 1855; M.A. 1859). Called to the bar 
in 1858, he never practised. His interests were in liter- 
ature and he wrote occasional verses. He refused to enter 
politics, although offered the Attorney-Generalship. In 
1871 he begaa to gather what is now the greatest collec- 
tion of Australiana in the world. 

In 1898 he communicated to the Trustees of the 
Public Library his intention to bequeath his collection to 
them, together with an endowment, provided they were 
constituted a corporate body, stipulating that the Gov- 
ernment should provide suitable accommodation and 
preserve his collection intact in a separate wing or set of 


rooms to be known as the "Mitchell Library" and make 
it freely available to students on conditions similar to 
those obtaining at the British Museum. In the follow- 
ing year, on the trustees being formed a Corporate Body, 
he handed over 10,000 volumes and 50 pictures. 

In 1906 the foundation-stone of the "Mitchell 
Library" was laid and he set aside 70,000 for the en- 
dowment of the Library. The building was still under 
construction when he died in 1907. After his death some 
61,000 volumes, manuscripts, maps, views, portraits, etc. 
were taken over by the Trustees. 


Born at Melbourne, 1865, educated at the Scotch 
College and at the University of Melbourne (M.C.E. 
1891 5 B.A. 1895; LL.B. 1895). In 1884 commenced 
practice as a civil engineer. In 1900 he introduced re- 
inforced concrete construction into Victoria, Tasmania, and 
South Australia. In 1913-15 was President of the Vic- 
torian Institute of Engineers. He was an enthusiastic 
officer of the citizen forces. In 1887 he received his 
first Commission: (Lieutenant, 18 87 3 Captain, 1895} 
Major, 1897; Lieutenant-Colonel, 1908; Colonel, 19135 
Brigadier-General, 1914; Major-General, 1916; Lieu- 
tenant-General, 1918). In 1901 he commanded 
the North Melbourne Artillery, and from 1907 
to 1914 was an officer of the Intelligence Corps. 
On the outbreak of the war he was appointed Chief Censor 
for Australia. Within a month he was given command 
of the 4th Infantry Brigade and accompanied it to Gal- 
lipoli. On the transfer of his Brigade to France he was 
given the command of the 3rd Australian Division. In 
1918 he succeeded General Birdwood in command of the 
Australian Army Corps in France. After the Armistice 
he was appointed Director-General of Demobilization for 


the A.I.F. In 1920 he was made Doctor of Engineering, 
and in the same year the Victorian Government appointed 
him Chairman of the State's Electricity Supply Commis- 
sion. In 1924 he was President of the Australasian As- 
sociation for the Advancement of Science. (C.B. 1915j 
K.C.B. 1918; G.C.M.G. 1919.) 


Born on 23rd December 1816 at Bolton in Lanca- 
shire, England. In 1838 he arrived at Sydney and was 
employed by Aspinall Brown & Co. as salesman and clerk. 
In 1841 he helped promote the Hunter River Naviga- 
tion Company (later Australasian United Steam Navi- 
gation Company). In 1843 he commenced business as 
Auctioneer and Wool Broker and began experiments in 
exporting cured animal foods to England. In 1845 he 
initiated Mort & Co. and in 1 849 promoted the first rail- 
way in New South Wales the Parramatta-Sydney Rail- 
way. In 1851 he promoted the "Great Nugget Vein 
Mining Co." In 1854 he commenced excavation of 
Mort's Dock the largest in Australia. In 1856 he 
established Bodalla Farm (38,000 acres) in Southern 
Coastal District (dairying) and in the early 1860's pro- 
moted the Peak Downs Copper Mining Co. (Queens- 
land) and the Waratah Coal Mining Company (New- 
castle). In 1863 he enlarged the docking business and 
established a shipyard and engineering works later 
merged into Mort's Dock & Engineering Company. In 
1870 he commenced his experiments in exporting frozen 
meat to England. In 1873 he provided his workmen 
with shares in the Mort's Dock & Engineering Company. 
In 1875 he established a slaughter-house and freezing - 
works at Lithgow and ice-works at Darling Harbour. 
Died in 1878 at Bodalla, May 9th. 




Born at Trichinopoly, in India, 1833, and brought 
to Sydney in 1838. Taken to England in 184-1 and 
entered on board H.M.S. Howe as a midshipman, 
May, 1847 (Lieutenant 1852; Commander 18 63 5 Post 
Captain 1871). Served in the Channel and Mediter- 
ranean Squadrons and off the west coast of Africa (1850- 
51). For four years he was engaged in the survey of 
Shark Bay, Torres Straits, and the external reefs of the 
Great Barrier. Returning to England in 1861 he served 
in the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean. He left 
the service owing to bad health and came to reside in 
Sydney. In 1874 he accompanied William Macleay 
in an exploration of the New Guinea coast. He was 
elected to the Assembly, for Camden, in 1869 and was 
appointed to the Legislative Council in 1880. Died 
in 1882. 

FRANCIS ORMOND (1829-1889) 

Born at Aberdeen, Scotland, 1829, and educated in 
Liverpool. He was brought to Victoria by his parents 
in 1842 where after an adventure in commercial life he 
became a squatter. He was a great educationalist and 
gave 100,000 to Ormond College, within the Univer- 
sity} 20,000 to endow a Chair of Music at the Univer- 
sity and 11,000 to the Melbourne Working Men's Col- 
lege. He also left large sums to hospitals and asylums. 
Died in France 1889. From 1882 to his death he was 
a member of the Victorian Legislative Council. 

SIR WILLIAM OWEN (1834-1912) 

Born on 4th November 1834 and educated at Chel- 
tenham and at Trinity College, Dublin. He was called 
to Irish Bar in 1859. Arrived in Sydney, 1860, Ad- 


mitted to the N.S.W. Bar the same year. Q.C. 1882, 
and in 1887 Chief Judge in Equity. He was transferred 
to Common Law side of the Supreme Court in 1896. 
In 1892 he was a member of a commission to investigate 
the charges brought by a Member of Parliament against 
the Chief Commissioner for Railways. In 1905 he was 
given sole charge of the investigation into the scandals 
connected with the administration of the Crown Lands. 
He was Head of the tribunal that cancelled many 
wrongly obtained leases and whose decisions, when ques- 
tioned, were expressly validated by Act of Parliament. 
Retired in 1908 from Bench and died 22nd November, 
1912. (Kt Bach. 1906). 


Born at Kilcaldy, Scotland, 1816, and came to 
Hobart in 1832. In 1839 he settled in Sydney and with 
his two brothers established the firm of P. N. Russell & 
Co., in 1842, blacksmiths, engineers and founders, which 
became one of the most important businesses in Australia. 
In 1867 he retired from active business to settle in Lon- 
don where he represented the firm. In 1875 the busi- 
ness was closed down. In 1896 he gave 50,000 to 
endow the Department of Engineering at the University 
of Sydney, and in 1904 another 50,000 on condition that 
the Government gave 25,000 to erect new buildings for 
the department. He died in London 1905. (K.C.M.G. 


Born at Erie, U.S.A., 1827. In 1852 migrated to 
Victoria. Visited Brisbane and returning overland became 
interested in horse-dealing. Later he acquired an interest 
in the coaching business of Cobb & Co. He reorganised 


and extended the Victorian services and secured a mon- 
opoly of the mail contracts. In partnership with Walter 
R. Hall and W. F. Whitney the New South Wales busi- 
ness was established, Rutherford making his headquar- 
ters at Bathurst. The business was extended to Queens- 
land in 1865. By 1870 Cobb and Co. were harnessing 
6000 horses per day, their coaches were travelling 28,000 
miles per week, their annual pay-sheet exceeded 100,000 
and they received 95,000 per annum in mail subsidies. 
The firm gradually acquired extensive pastoral pro- 
perties in New South Wales and Queensland and im- 
ported prize stock on a large scale. Rutherford also 
founded the Eskbank Ironworks at Lithgow. He died 
at Mackay, in Queensland, 1911. 


Born at Michelago in New South Wales, 1865, and 
educated at The King's School, Parramatta. He was 
elected by Queanbeyan to the Legislative Assembly of 
New South Wales (1906-9) and was Member for North 
Sydney in the Commonwealth House of Representatives 
(1911) Honorary Minister (1920) and Assistant Minister 
for Defence. He joined the 1st Australian Horse (2nd 
Lieutenant 1898; Lieutenant 1899; Captain 1901; 
Major 1903; Lieutenant-Colonel 1904; Colonel 19l4j 
Brigadier-General 1914; Major-General 1919) and was 
for seven years in command of the 3rd Light Horse Regi- 
ment, New South Wales. Served with the Mounted Rifles 
in the South African War (1900-1). He was appointed 
to the command of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade in 1914 
and served with it through the greater part of the Gal- 
lipoli campaign, and afterwards in Palestine. In 1919 he 
was promoted to the rank of Major-General and for some 
time commanded the A.I.F. in Egypt. In 1927 he was 
appointed High Commissioner at London for Australia 
(C.M.G. 1916; C.B. 1918; K.C.M.G. 1919.) 



Born at Armidale, New South Wales, 1871. Edu- 
cated at Riverview College, St. Cuthbert's College, 
Ushaw, Durham, England, and at the University of 
Sydney. He entered the firm of Dalton Bros, in 1890 
and in 1902 was made Managing Director. Was elected 
a Director of the Australian Bank of Commerce and 
Chairman, which office he retains. In June 1919 he suc- 
ceeded Sir Henry Braddon as Australian Commissioner 
to the United States, America, and in 1922 was a Repre- 
sentative of the Commonwealth at the annual meeting 
of the League of Nations. In 1924-25 was a member of 
the British Economic Commission sitting in London. In 
1925 he returned to Australia and resumed his commer- 
cial career. (Kt. Bach. 1922 5 K.B.E. 1925). 

JOHN McGARVIE SMITH (1844-1918) 

Born at Paddington, near Sydney, in 1 844. Studied 
chemistry at the University of Sydney and qualified as 
a Metallurgist, devoting himself to devising treatments 
for refractory ores. Later he interested himself in bac- 
teriology, erected a specially equipped laboratory and en- 
gaged a Viennese bacteriologist to instruct him in micro- 
biology. In 1893 he reported to the Metropolitan Board 
of Water-Supply and Sewerage on germs found in the 
Sydney sewers. He discovered a vaccine for anthrax 
which gives protection by a single inoculation and keeps 
indefinitely. He aided the establishment of a McGarvie 
Smith Institute, controlled by a Board representing the 
Government and Pastoralists of New South Wales to 
manufacture and distribute the vaccine. Died, 1918. 


Born at Semaphore, South Australia, 1892. Edu- 
cated at The Queen's School, North Adelaide, and at 


Moffat, Scotland. Entered on a business career in Ade- 
laide and in 1914 enlisted in the A.LK with the 3rd 
Light Horse (2nd Lieutenant 1915} Lieutenant 1916; 
Lieutenant A.F.C. 1917 5 Temporary Captain 1917} Cap- 
tain 1918). Was in Egypt and Gallipoli. In 1 9 1 6 he 
qualified as observer in the Australian Flying Corps and 
gave valuable air service. In 1919, he and his brother 
Keith, won the prize of 10,000 offered by the Com- 
monwealth Government to the first Australian airman who 
should reach Australia by air within 720 consecutive hours 3 
flying, in a machine constructed wholly within the British 
Empire and manned by an all-Australian Crew. Smith 
accomplished the task in 135 flying hours covering a 
distance of 11,340 miles 5 the machine used being a Vic- 
kers-Vimy aeroplane. The crew were Ross Smith, Keith 
Smith, and Sergeants J. M. Bennett and W. H. Shiers. 

After a stay of some months in Australia Ross Smith 
left for England to arrange for a flight around the world. 
During trial flights the machine crashed and he was in- 
stantly killed (1922) (K.B.E, 1919). 


Born in County Cork, Ireland, 1815. Educated at 
the University of Dublin (B.A. 1837, Hon. LL.D. 
1874). Studied law at King's Inn, Dublin and at Lin- 
coln Inn, Called to the Irish Bar in 1839 and in 1841 
migrated to Australia. Admitted to the Port Phillip 
bar and for some years combined legal practice with pas- 
toral work. In 1851, when the Colony of Victoria was 
established, he became Attorney-General, and drafted the 
Constitution Act of 1854. He was returned at the first 
Victorian elections and became Attorney-General. In 
1857 he resigned his seat and became first Chief Justice 
of the Colony. In 1886 he resigned the Chief Justice- 
ship and in 1887 was appointed Lieutenant-Governor. 


In 1889 he went to Europe on account of ill-health, and 
died at Naples, 1889. 

He was a strong supporter of scientific work and in 
1858-9 was President of the Philosophical Institute of 
Victoria. He was one of the original Trustees of the 
Victorian Public Library (1853-89) and Chancellor of 
the Melbourne University in 1881-82. (Kt. Bach. 1858; 
K.C.M.G. 1886). 


Sir Alfred Stephen, born at Basseterre, St. Christo- 
pher, West Indies, on August 20th, 1802, was educated 
at the Charterhouse and at Honiton Grammar School, 
England Entered Lincoln Inn in 1818, was called to 
the bar in 1823. In July, 1824, went to Hobart as 
Solicitor-General and was admitted to the local bar in 
February "1825, and on April 25th was also appointed 
Crown Solicitor. He organised Courts of Justice, 
framed statutes for the Legislature and advocated trial by 
jury which was conceded in 1834. From 1833 to 
1837 he was Attorney-General to the colony. In 1839 
he was appointed temporarily to Judge Burton's place on 
the Supreme Court Bench, New South Wales, and when 
in 1841 Burton resumed duty was made a puisne judge. 
In 1844 appointed Chief Justice. 1856 became Presi- 
dent of the first Legislative Council under responsible 
Government but retired from the Council in 1858. In 
1870 he presided over a Commission to revise the Statute 
Laws, the labours of which were made law in 1883. In 
1873, after 29 years 3 service retired from Chief Justice- 
ship and in March 1875 was nominated to the Legislative 
Council. In November of that year was made Lieut-Go- 
vernor. His seat in the Council was vacant during March- 
August, 1879, and between November-December, 1885, 
to allow him to administer the Colony, after these re- 


tirements was immediately renominated to the Council. 
He retired from the Council altogether in October 1890 
to administer the colony in the absence of Lord Carring- 
ton. He died at Sydney on October 15th, 1894. (Kt. 
Bach., 1846; C.B., 1862; K.C.M.G., 1874$ G.C.M.G., 
1884 5 P-C., 1893.) 


Born at Hobart 5th December, 1828. Arrived in 
Sydney, 1839. Educated Sydney College. Became asso- 
ciate to Chief Justice Bowling, sent to England for legal 
study. On his return was associate to his father Sir 
Alfred Stephen. Admitted N.S.W. Bar 30th November 
1850 the first native Australian to be admitted and first 
colonial Barrister to be admitted under the Colonial Act. 
On several occasions refused the Solicitor-Generalship. 
In December, 1869, he was elected by Mudgee to Legis- 
lative Assembly and resigned in 1871. In 1880 he took 
silk. In 1887 he was made Puisne Judge and in 1902-3 
was Acting Chief Justice, but retired at end of 1903. 
Died April 1920. 

JOHN TEBBUTT (1834-1916) 

Born at Windsor, New South Wales, 1834, and edu- 
cated at the Parish School. In 1843 commenced the 
study of astronomy and in 1853-57 published his observa- 
tions on the variable star Eta Argus. In 1862 he refused 
the appointment as New South Wales Government As- 
tronomer. In 1863 he erected a small observatory on 
the Peninsula, Windsor. In 1879 he built a brick obser- 
vatory, installing a transit instrument and equitorial re- 
fractor of 8-in. aperture, 115-in. focal length. In 1881 
he discovered another comet which he successfully pho- 


tographed. In 1895 he was chosen first President of the 
British Astronomical Association (New South Wales 
Branch). He died at Windsor, 1916. 


Born at Edinburgh, 1800. Educated at the Edin- 
burgh High School, at Harrow and at Caen, in Nor- 
mandy. Studied mercantile methods and helped his 
father to introduce into the Navy the double-entry system 
of book-keeping. In 1826 he visited the United States 
and Canada, and in 1827 was appointed a registrar at 
Demerara, in British Guiana. The clerkship of the 
N.S.W. Legislative Council being vacant he effected an 
exchange and reached Sydney in 1828. In 1837 he be- 
came Colonial Secretary. In 1854 he went to England 
to watch the passage of the Constitution through the Eng- 
lish Parliament. When responsible Government was 
established he retired from the Colonial Secretaryship. 
He was invited to form the first ministry but failed and 
became an original member of the Legislative Council 
in 1861 he was appointed a life member. 

He was an ardent supporter of higher education, 
and in 1849 was a member of the select committee to in- 
quire into the establishment of a University. He was 
appointed to the University Senate in 1850, became Vice- 
Chancellor in 1862, and was Chancellor from 1865 to 
1878. For many years he was president of the Austra- 
lian Jockey Club. He died in Sydney in 1879. (C.B. 
1856j K.C.M.G. 1874.) 

SIR CHARLES TODD (1826-1910) 

Born at Islington, London, 1826. Educated pri- 
vately. In 1841-47 supernumerary computer at Green- 
wich Observatory and in 1 848 became Assistant Astrono- 


mer at the Cambridge Observatory, where he helped to 
determine the telegraphic distance between Cambridge 
and Greenwich. In 1854 he was recalled to Greenwich to 
take charge of the Galvanic Department and in 1855 was 
appointed Superintendent of Telegraphs for South Aus- 
tralia and a Director of the Adelaide Observatory. In 
1859 he suggested the construction of a line from Ade- 
laide to Port Darwin and thence to England. In 1870 
he became Postmaster General. He supervised the con- 
struction of the line between Adelaide and Port Darwin 
and in 1872 completed it, communication with England 
being established on October 21st. He then built 1000 
mile line to Eucla where it joined up with the Western 
Colony's telegraphic system. In 1889 he was made a 
Fellow of the Royal Society, and retired from public 
service in 1906, having been Government Astronomer 
for 51 years. He died in 1910. (C.M.G. 1872; 
K.CJMLG. 1893). 

JAMES TYSON (1823-1898) 

Born at Cowpastures, 1823. Commenced his pas- 
toral work as working overseer at Morton Park, near 
Camden. In 1844 he took up Barwidgee Station in the 
Ovens District. Later he joined his brother in forming 
Gunambill Station on the Billabong. The venture was 
at first unsuccessful but in 1851 their fortunes changed. 
He took droves of cattle to the diggings at Bendigo 
and in four years had accumulated enough money to buy 
up several Riverina runs, among them Deniliquin and 
Juanbong. Soon after he bought Heyfield in Gipps- 
land, Felton, on the Darling Downs in Queensland and 
several stations along the Warrego. In 1892, in a time 
of financial depression, he took up 250,000 of Treasury 
Bills and his public spirit was acknowledged by an appoint- 
ment to the Legislative Council. He died in 1898 leav- 
ing an estate worth two and a half millions. 



Born at Portsmouth, England, 1836, and educated 
privately. He emigrated to Australia in 1853. Trained 
for the law, he was admitted to the local bar in 1861 
(Q.C. 1871). In 1874 he was made a member of the 
Board of Education and of the first Council of the Uni- 
versity of Adelaide, becoming Vice-Chancellor in 1876 
and Chancellor from 1883 to his death. In 1875 he was 
elected to the Assembly for the Sturt District and was 
made Attorney-General, resigning in 1876 to take the 
office of Chief Justice of the Colony. In 1891 he was 
made Lieutenant-Governor. In 1897 he was sworn in 
as a Privy Councillor and took his seat on the Judicial 
Committee of the Privy Council as the first representa- 
tive Australian Judge. He died at Adelaide, 1916. 


Born at Nantes, Normandy, France, in 1840, and 
educated at the Macclesfield Grammar School and at 
Brasenose College, Oxford (B.A. 1862). Arrived in 
Melbourne in 1863 to take up the position of classical 
master at Scotch College. In 1866 he was appointed 
to the headmastership of the Sydney Grammar School, 
which post he retained for 45 years. In 1 880 he helped 
to found the Headmasters' Association and later the 
Teachers' Association (now the Teachers' Guild). He 
died in 1912. (C.M.G. 1909.) 


Born at St. Arnaud, Victoria, 1876. Educated at 
the State School at Hendra (a suburb of Brisbane) and 
at Nundah. Entered the service of the Australian Joint 
Stock Bank at Brisbane in 1892 and resigned in 1899. 


Was appointed provisional lieutenant in the militia in 
1896 (Lieutenant 1897) and later joined the Queens- 
land permanent artillery (Captain 1908; Major 191 lj 
Lieutenant-Colonel 1914; Colonel 1915, Brigadier- 
General 1915; Major General 191?5 temporary Lieu- 
tenant General 1918). He served through the South 
African war as a subaltern in the 1st Commonwealth 
Horse and after returning to Australia in 1904 was aide- 
de-camp to Major General Sir Edward Hutton, Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the Australian Forces. He was the 
first Australian officer chosen to attend the Staff College 
at Camberley, England, and was retained for several 
years after his course ended. On his return to Australia 
he became Director of Military Operations. 

On the outbreak of the war of 1914-18 General 
Bridges chose him as his Chief of Staff. During the Gal- 
lipoli campaign he was appointed Chief of General Staff 
of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and 
formed the scheme for the evacuation of the peninsula. 
As Birdwood's Chief of Staff he was responsible for 
planning the Australian operations in France. When 
Birdwood was transferred to the command of the Fifth 
British Army, White was transferred with him, acting 
as Chief of General Staff until the end of the war. 

Returning to Australia in 1919 as Lieutenant- 
General to advise the Commonwealth Government on 
future; 1 military organisation, he became Chief of the 
General Staff and was appointed Chairman of Commis- 
sioners of the Commonwealth Public Service Board. In 
1928 he retired and accepted the office of Superintendent 
of the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Co. 
Ltd. in Australia. 

(D.S.O. 1915; C.B. 1916; C.M.G. 1918; K.C.M.G. 
1919; K.C.V.O. 1920). 


JAMES WHITE (1828-1890) 

Born at Scone, New South Wales, 1828. Edu- 
cated at the King's School, Parramatta. On his father's 
death in 1844, he took over the management of several 
estates, including Edenglassie, near Muswellbrook, and 
Timor, on the Isis. To these he added until he owned 
the greater part of the Hunter Valley, above Denman. 
He represented the district in the Assembly (1864-68) 
resigning in order to travel. He contested the consti- 
tuency again in 1872 and was defeated} and was nom- 
inated to the Council in 1874 and sat there until his 
death. He was a great patron of the turf and won, at 
one time or another, nearly every important race listed 
at Australian meetings; and owned (among other notable 
racehorses) Martini-Henry and Nordenfeldt; and with 
Chester in 1877 won that much-coveted double the 
V.R.C. Derby and the Melbourne Cup. He died at 
Rose Bay in 1890. 

EDWARD WILSON (1814-1878) 

Born at Hampstead, England, and trained for com- 
mercial pursuits. Migrated to Port Phillip in 1842. 
In 1844 he joined J. S. Johnson in a cattle station near 
Dandenong. While managing this station he wrote some 
letters to the Melbourne press that encouraged him to 
take up journalism as a profession. In 1847, joined by 
Johnson, he bought the "Argus" and in 1851 incorpor- 
ated it with the "Daily News." In 1857 he visited 
England and on his return travelled in Queensland, 
South Australia, and New Zealand 5 eye-trouble prevent- 
ing him taking part in the management of the paper. In 
1864 he returned to England and settled in Kent. He 
died in 1878 leaving the greater part of his wealth to 
philanthropic objects in Victoria. 


He was the founder of the Acclimatization Society 
of Victoria in 1861, and one of the founders of the Royal 
Colonial Institute, in 1868. 

SIR SAMUEL WILSON (1832-1895) 

Born at Ballycloughan, Ireland, 1832, and educated 
at Ballymena. In 1852 he migrated to Australia to join 
his brothers and worked for a time on the Victorian Gold- 
fields. He then settled down to station life, commenc- 
ing as Manager of his brother's station and then joining 
in the purchase of Longerenong Station, in the Wim- 
mera $ later purchasing other stations near by. Early in 
the seventies he sold his Wimmera station and bought 
property on the plains between Camperdown and Bal- 
larat He was also interested in squatting properties in 
the Darling District of New South Wales and the Peak 
Down District of Queensland. He was a great breeder 
and acclimatiser, interesting himself not only in sheep, 
but in Angora goats, salmon, trout and ostriches. He 
was elected member for Wimmera in the Victorian Legis- 
lative Assembly in 1861 and from 1875 to 1880 repre- 
sented the Western Provinces in the Council. He went 
to England and entered Parliament as member for 
Portsmouth y resigning in 1892* In 1874 he gave 
30,000 to build the Wilson Hall at the University of 
Melbourne. He died in England in 1895. (Kt. Bach, 


Born at Westminster 29th September 1834. Son 
of Richard Windeyer and was a member of the first Par- 
liament of N.S.W. Educated at King's School, Parra- 


matta, and Sydney University, being one of the first 
matriculants and the first graduate of that body (B.A. 
1856; M.A. 1859). Called to N.S.W. Bar in 1857 and 
became law reporter of the "Empire." Entered Legis- 
lative Assembly 29th June 1859 and for the greater part 
of the succeeding twenty years followed a political career 
(member for Lower Hunter 1859-60; for West Syd- 
ney 1860-62; 1866-72; for the University 1876-79). 
Initiated Volunteer Movement in 1860 and was elected 
Captain 1860; Major 1868. After many refusals of 
office he became Solicitor-General (1870) in the Martin 
Ministry and was Attorney-General in the Parkes Mini- 
stries of 1877 and 1878. Resigned office August 1879 
to become temporary judge of the Supreme Court, and 
in August 1881 was made a Puisne Judge an appoint- 
ment he held for 15 years. In 1896 he resigned on a 
pension and the Colonial Government submitted his 
name to represent Australia on the Judicial Committee 
of the Privy Council, but Sir S. Way, from South Aus- 
tralia, was chosen. He was asked to act as emergency 
judge in Newfoundland by the British Government, but 
whilst touring Europe before taking up his position he 
died of appendicitis and was cremated at Bologna, in 
Italy, on 12th September 1897. 

Apart from politics and the la\^Windeyer had many 
public interests. He was a strong advocate of open 
spaces for the people, and in 1862 secured for them both 
the smaller Sydney parks and in 1878 Clark Island, 
Shark Island, and several other islands in Port Jackson 
and Broken Bay. In 1874 originated the Discharged 
Prisoners 3 Aid Society. His special interest in Education 
was shown not only in Parliament but by his active work 
for the University (of which he was Vice-Chancellor in 
1883-87 and Chancellor 1 895-96), and Women's College 
(of whose Trustees he was Chairman), the Sydney 


Grammar School (of which he was a Trustee from 1873 
onwards and for many years Chairman of Trustees), and 
the Sydney School of Arts. In 1 8 87 was granted LL.D. 
degree by Cambridge University. (Kt Bach. 1891.) 

Among other distinguished Citizens can be men- 
tioned the following, who have given their valued 
services to Australia: Hon. Mr Justice Hargrave, 
Hon. Mr. Justice Faucett, Hon. Sir F. B. Suttor, A. T. 
Holroyd, Charles Cowper, John Williams (Crown 
Solicitor), Hon. Sir G. Wigram Allen, Hon. Edward 
Butler, Q.C., Hon. Charles Campbell, Hon. John 
Campbell, Hon. Mr. Justice C. J. Manning, C. E. 
Pilcher, M.L.A., G. H. Fitzhardinge, C. B. Stephen, 
Hon. Mr. Justice R. D. Pring, Hon. Mr. Justice R. E. 
O'Connor, Sir John Hogg, Hon. Alfred Deakin, Wil- 
liam Farrer, Mr. Shepheard Smith, G.M., Bank of 
N.S.W., Edward Chisholm, Christopher Rolleston. 
H. A. Armitage, Melbourne, Grazier and Company 
Director; Hon. James Ashton, Sydney, M.L.C., Mini- 
ster for Lands in former Government and Acting 
Premier, Grazier and Company Director; Hon. W. L. 
Baillieu, Melbourne, Director and Founder of many 
Industrial and Mining Companies; H. L. Austin, Graz- 
ier, "Eli Elwoli," Hay, celebrated for Stud Merino Sheep 
and Shorthorn Cattle. 


Chief among princely donations bestowed by the 
generous, stands the "Walter and Eliza Hall" Trust, 
ounded for educational and benevolent purposes by Mrs. 
Eliza Rowdon Hall after the death of her husband in 

The wonderful discovery in 1882 of the mountain 
of gold afterwards known as Mount Morgan yielded 
fortunes to all who had the foresight to hold their in- 
terests during its early vicissitudes. Among these was 
the late Walter Hall, one of the principal shareholders. 
This addition to his wealth, however, did not inspire ex- 
travagant or selfish thoughts in its possessor. Remem- 
bering his own career, which had not been free from 
anxious and troublous times, he viewed with sympathy 
the trials of the younger generation, which he endea- 
voured by every means to lessen, so that he might help 
young aspirants to success or alleviate the distress of 
failure. His widow resolved to carry on in perpetuity 
the good work which he had begun. Hence the "Walter 
and Eliza Hall" Trust a noble memorial. 

Mrs. Eliza Rowdon Hall was the eldest daughter 
of the late Mr. George Kirk, who was associated as a 
pastoralist with the late Richard Goldsbrough, one of the 
founders of the great woolbroking firm of Goldsbrough, 
Mort and Co, Soon after the death of her husband Mrs 
Hall founded, with a munifident donation of a million 
pounds sterling, the "Walter and Eliza Hall" Trust 


the largest gift made to charity by any woman in our 
Empire. Its objects were': 

(a) The relief of poverty. 

(b) The advancement of education. 

(c) The advancement of religion in accordance 
with the tenets of the Church of England. 

(d) The general benefit of the community in ways 
not falling under any of the preceding head- 

One-half of the annual income is for distribution in 
New South Wales, a quarter in Victoria, and a quarter in 

So far as is practicable, one-third of the income de- 
voted to each State is primarily for application to the 
benefit of women and children. 

The sum distributed during 1928 was 46,293 8s. 
9d., while the total expenditure on administration which 
is kept as low as possible scarcely exceeded three per 

As the first trustees Mrs. Hall appointed Messrs. 
R. G. Casey, Kelso King, Adrian Knox, and J. Russell 
French, all well known in commercial life. Brigadier- 
General Finn, C.B., D.C.M., a distinguished Imperial 
officer, was the first Secretary. 

The "Walter and Eliza Hall" Trust was declared 
on 24th May, 1912, and came into operation on 1st Janu- 
ary, 1913. Since that date it has helped a great number 
of charities, and relieved thousands who would otherwise 
have been practically destitute. Education, in both uni- 
versities and schools, is also being endowed, and grants are 
made to assist in the building, establishing, and extension 
of schools. The total distribution during the sixteen 
years to December 1928 amounted to 629,471 1 Is. 2d. 

On February 14th, 1916, Mrs. Hall died at her 


home, "Wildfell," Potts Point, Sydney. She was sin- 
cerely lamented and will ever be remembered for her 
unaffected, kindly, and generous disposition. 

The present trustees are Messrs. Kelso King, P. V. 
McCulloch, G. E. Fairfax, G. M. Merivale, and C. M. 
C. Shannon. The Secretary is Miss K. H. Finn. 





DURING the autumn of the year 1 877 cricket authorities 
in Australia decided to send an eleven to England. After 
some controversy the team was chosen, including the two 
Bannermans, Murdoch, Horan, D. Gregory, Blackham, 
Bailey, Boyle, Spoiforth, Kendall, and Allen. Many 
critics claimed that the team was not representative, and 
eventually, to place the question beyond dispute, a New 
South Wales fifteen was chosen to play the Australian 
Eleven. The New South Wales team comprised Sheri- 
dan, Gregory, Humphreys, Geary, Evans-Rush, Powell, 
Tindall, Dummett, Pocock, Burrowes, Docker, Webster, 
Hannigan, and Brown. The match was played on No- 
vember 23-25 and resulted in a win for the Australian 
eleven by four wickets. 

Among the spectators at the match on the Sydney 
Cricket Ground was Mr George Hardie. His attention 
was, however, diverted, for that morning he had been 
approached by G. Allen Mansfield, the leading Sydney 
architect, and A, H. McCulloch, one of the best-known 
solicitors, with a proposal for a new Insurance Company. 
The suggestion had caught his imagination, and, as he 
moved through the grounds, he spoke of the matter to 
several friends. He found the idea well supported, and 
before the end of the day had received promises of a very 
large portion of the capital required. 


During the next week Hardie, Mansfield, and Mc- 
Culloch started to give practical shape to their new Com- 
pany and draft the prospectus. While they worked, new 
friends were coming forward with requests to be allotted 
shares, until, by the time their work was ready to go to 
the printer, they had received applications for the whole 
of the capital. 

A little before Christmas 1877 a meeting of the 
shareholders of the new Insurance Company was held, 
and John Pope (Chairman), G. Allen Mansfield, W. H. 
Paling, George Hardie, and Captain Broomfield were 
elected directors. The prospectus provided for a capital 
of 100,000 shares of 1 each. 

In response to the advertisement for the post of 
secretary to "The Mercantile Mutual Insurance Com- 
pany" a large number of applications were received, and 
after very careful consideration Kelso King, a young man 
of twenty-four years of age, was appointed. How wise 
this selection was is shown by the fact that Mr. King 
has been the chief executive officer of the Company- 
through the fifty years of its life and now holds the posi- 
tion of Managing Director. 

The location of the offices of the new Company 
gave the directors much anxiety. At that time ground- 
floor offices were very difficult to secure in Sydney. Only 
by chance did the secretary become aware that Mr. Reed, 
a second-hand piano dealer, was prepared to dispose of 
his lease of two small rooms in Pitt Street for the sum 
of 50. These premises were in a building on the site 
where now stands the Piccadilly Theatre. It should be 
noted that, while the lease was then considered worth 
only 50, the present building was sold a few weeks ago 
for a price approximating 1592 per foot. 

The registration of the Company was secured on 
January 10, 1878, and the Mercantile Mutual Insurance 


Company Limited immediately opened its doors for 

The new Company proved highly attractive to im- 
portant Sydney people. Most of the prominent busi- 
ness and professional men of that era appear on its Share 
Register, and from the first day applications for insur- 
ance came in freely. The remarkable development shown 
in the following table gives ample proof of the confi- 
dence felt by Australians in their own institution. 

Premium Income for Quinquennium to June 30, 1883 












It is of interest to note that at the date of the found- 
ing of the Mercantile Mutual Insurance Company the 
total population of Australia was less than the present 
population of New South Wales. Of the State popula- 
tions Victoria had a commanding lead, with 860,787 as 
against 662,212 in New South Wales. South Australia 
came third with 236,864, and Queensland fourth, with 
203,084 inhabitants in her vast territory. Tasmania had 
107,104, and Western Australia, a State comprising one 
third of the whole continent, only 27,838. 

The Mercantile Mutual Insurance Company re- 
mained in the small offices only until 1 879, when larger 
premises became imperative and a move was made to 
131 Pitt Street. A further nove was made in 1886 to 
a freehold acquired at 118-120 in the same street, on 
which was erected a building containing four floors and 
a basement In 1914 the Company had again outgrown 
these quarters and purchased the handsome building at 
12-16 Martin Place, the commercial centre of the city. 


Finding that the requirements of the staff and the 
convenience of the public necessitated greater ground- 
floor space, and ascertaining that the Martin Place pro- 
perty could be sold at a substantial profit on the original 
purchase, the directors decided to acquire and demolish 
the buildings at 1 1 7 Pitt Street and to erect the hand- 
some premises now occupied by the company. The 
building is the full height of 150 feet allowed by law. 
It covers an area of 61 ft. 6 in. to Pitt Street, with a 
depth of 137 ft. to 141 ft. at the rear. There is a spa- 
cious ground-floor and a lower ground-floor, both well- 
lighted and mechanically ventilated. Above, there are 
ten upper floors and a flat roof for the recreation of the 
staff. The building is constructed of steel framing with 
concrete floors. The front elevation, to the floor level 
of the second floor, has been carried out in trachyte, with 
six handsome columns with Corinthian capitals- Inter- 
nally the building has been finished in an up-to-date 
manner. Three fast electric elevators of the latest type 
are installed, and large light-areas give ample illumina- 
tion to all rooms. The corridors are brightened by the 
use of polished marble. Transom lights throughout the 
building materially assist the fine lighting arrangements. 
The architects were Robertson & Marks and the builders 
J. C. Harrison & Son. The wisdom of providing for the 
future as well as the present requirements of the growing 
business is apparent, and gives evidence of confidence 
in the stability of Australia and of its continued progress 
which all far-sighted citizens recognise as likely to be 

At its inception the operations of the Mercantile 
Mutual Insurance Company were confined to New South 
Wales. But in 1901 the directors decided to extend their 
operations to the neighbouring States and in that year 
a branch was opened at 9 Queen Street, Melbourne. A 
few years later the Company acquired the present pre- 


mises at 1 Queen Street, Melbourne, as the Victorian 
Headquarters, valued, with remodelling, at 25,000. 

The first Victorian Directors to be appointed were 
R. J. Alcock, J.P., head of the firm of James Service & 
Co., and J. M. Gillespie, O.B.E., chairman of the Free- 
hold Assets Company. Both of these gentlemen were 
well known in business, public, and philanthropic work 
in Melbourne for many years. Later they were joined in 
the directorate by W. J. S. Eaves, of McLaughlin, Eaves 
& Johnson, solicitors, and by A. L. Wettenhall, of Park- 
inson & Wettenhall, solicitors. R. W. Heggie is the local 
manager and A. J. Loughnan the resident secretary. Both 
these officers have many years of fine service to their 

In August 1912 a branch was opened in Queensland. 
The first offices were established at 377 Queen Street, 
Brisbane. They were found to be too small for the quickly 
increasing business, and, an opportunity occurring to make 
a sale at a satisfactory price, the Company purchased the 
present commodious premises at Eagle Street, which cost, 
with re-modelling, 29,640. 

The Queensland directors of the Mercantile 
Mutual Insurance Company are W. Hamilton Hart, of 
the firm of Flower & Hart, solicitors, and Robert Willis 
Taylor, of the firm of Taylor & Elliott. J. G. Milne 
is the local manager, appointed from Head Office, where 
he served for many years. 

In 1920 it was decided to open business in North 
Queensland, and a branch was established at Flinders 
Street, Townsville, in the premises of Bartlams, Ltd. 
J. J. Kelleher, the manager of that firm represents the 
Mercantile Mutual Insurance Company, assisted by a 
trained staff. J. C. Deacon is resident secretary. Later 
in the same year there was a further expansion of the 
business in North Queensland, a branch being opened 


at Cairns under the control of the manager of the Estate 
of H. S. Williams, Ltd., the present chief agents for the 
Company in Cairns. 

The South Australian business of the Company was 
established in Adelaide in September 1917. The first 
South Australian offices were situated at the corner of 
King William and Pirie Streets, Adelaide. The present 
premises, at the corner of Pirie Street and Coromandel 
Place, were recently purchased at a cost, including re- 
modelling, of 22,441. 

The directors of the South Australian branch are 
Napier K. Birks and F. E. Cornish, of Charles Birks & 
Co., Ltd., and Norman Jackson, of A. R. B. Lucas & Co. 
The local manager is W. H. Sheppard, also a Head 
Office man with many years' service to his credit. 

During November 1919 the Tasmanian business of 
the Mercantile Mutual Insurance Company was estab- 
lished, and branches were opened at Hobart and Launces- 
ton. The Hobart branch was first established at 113-115 
Macquarie Street. Later, to meet the growing demands, 
the present offices, situated at 105 Macquarie Street, were 
purchased, considerable additions and re-modellings 
being necessary, at a total cost of 12,459. Robert Net- 
tlefold is chairman and local director and Ross Wilkins 
appointed first as inspector is local manager of the 
Tasmanian business. Northern Tasmanian interests are 
looked after by the Launceston branch, situated at 60 
Cameron Street, under the control of W. H. Hart & Co., 
acting as chief agents for the Northern District of Tas- 

The Western Australian Branch of the Company 
was opened during April 1920. It is now situated at 
9 Barrack Street, Perth. H. J. Wigmore & Co. are the 
chief representatives and the local manager is W. Chas. 


All the above-mentioned local directors, executive 
officers, and their staffs have been untiring in their efforts 
to assist the development o the business at their respec- 
tive branches. 

To-day the Mercantile Mutual Insurance Company 
Limited has agents in every city and township in Aus- 
tralia, and also representatives in most parts of the 
world. The big Company of to-day has grown, during 
fifty years, from the two little rooms at 168 Pitt Street, 
Sydney, where operations were commenced. At first the 
business handled was chiefly fire insurance, but, to keep 
pace with the growth of the Commonwealth, the Com- 
pany launched out into other classes of insurance, and 
to-day its activities embrace all forms except life. 

This progressive Company has been exceptionally 
fortunate in the selection of its directors. The present 
board are C. C. Gale (chairman), J. M. Atkinson, T. 
J. Marks, L. J. Davies, and J. Hunter Stephenson, sup- 
ported by Kelso King, managing director and chief exe- 
cutive officer for fifty years, Selwyn King, manager 
with 36 years of service with the Company and Alan 
Blake, secretary, with 25 years' service to his credit. 
Much of the success is due to the wise policy laid down 
by the directors and management, supported by a loyal 
and capable staff, many of whom have been almost a 
lifetime with the Company. 

Looking backwards, it cannot be doubted that the 
founders of the Mercantile Mutual Insurance Company 
were men of vision and enterprise, but it is doubtful if 
they were aware of the very important step they took 
when they decided on the establishment of the little office 
that has grown to be one of Australia's leading Insurance 
Companies. Had any citizen of 1878 the imagination 
to foretell that within fifty years Australia would in- 
crease her population threefold and hold the important 


position she now occupies in the British Empire? Or 
that Sydney, then the second city o the Commonwealth, 
would not only rise to first place but would become the 
second city, in white population, in the Empire? From 
a review of the past it is certain that even greater pro- 
gress will come in the future, with all classes working 
together towards that end. 







A ran AS 
in 'ONicmna OIDJUMO cmm iN 


JOHN POPE (1827-1912) 

The first chairman of the Mercantile Mutual In- 
surance Company (1878-86). Born in England, 1st 
October, 1827. Attracted by the excitement of gold- 
discovery m Australia, he arrived in Melbourne on 4th 
October, 1852. After spending some time at Ballarat 
he came to Sydney in 1856, joining the firm of Farmer, 
Williams, & Giles, and was subsequently admitted to 
full partnership, the title of the firm being altered to 
Farmer, Painter & Pope, and more recently to Farmer 
& Company. He retained his seat on the board of the 
Mercantile Mutual Insurance Company until his death 
in 1912. 

Mr Pope was a man of sound judgment, with force 
of character and a deep conviction of the importance of 
his responsibilities. His enthusiasm in all his work gave an 
inspiration to those associated with him in business and 
other affairs. 



Deputy-Chairman of the Mercantile Mutual In- 
surance Company from 1878 to 1886, when he was ap- 
pointed Chairman on the retirement of John Pope. 

In conjunction with the late A. H. McCulloch and 
George Hardie, he founded the Company and was most 
helpful in laying its foundations on a basis of perman- 

Born in Sydney, 15th June, 1834. Was articled 
co Mr. Hilly, architect, in 1851 and subsequently ac- 
cepted a partnership with him. Later he joined his 
brother in the firm of Mansfield Bros. This firm was 
afterwards altered to Mansfield & Son. 

Mr. Mansfield had an extensive practice as an 
architect and played an important part in rebuilding Syd- 
ney, besides designing and erecting many bank buildings 
and residences throughout the country. He was the 
foremost Sydney architect, and achieved his success by 
unceasing labour, vigilance, and devotion to the work 
entrusted to him, combined with outstanding ability. 




One of the first directors the Mercantile Mutual 
Insurance Co. elected in 1878. Arrived at Sydney in 
1853 and shortly afterwards founded the business con- 
ducted under the name of W. H. Paling and Co,, Limi- 
ted, A man of sterling character, he was associated with 
many important enterprises connected with the progress 
and development of Australia. His generosity and 
philanthropy were unbounded. The founding and en- 
dowment of the Carrington Convalescent Hospital is one 
of his charitable works which will perpetuate the memory 
of a fine citizen. 



GEORGE HARDIE (1846-1918) 

Was a Director of the Mercantile Mutual Insur- 
ance Company from January 1878 to January 1888. In 
association with G. A. Mansfield and A. H. McCulloch 
he founded the Company. 

He was born in 1846 at the Navigator Islands and 
arrived in Australia in 1866, settling in Sydney. He 
was senior partner in the firm of Hardie & Gorman, Real 
Estate Agents and Auctioneers. 

Mr. Hardie returned to England in 1888 and died 
in 1918. He was a man of sound judgment, a striking 
personality and possessed wonderful initiative. 




Was appointed a Director of the Mercantile Mutual 
Insurance Company from the date of its incorporation, 
1878, until 1902, when he resigned through ill-health. 

Captain Broomfield was born in England on 24th 
May, 1822, and settled in Sydney in 1849, founding the 
business of John Broomfield & Company in 1851. He 
was a director of Mort's Dock and Engineering Com- 
pany from its formation until 1902, and also of the Fresh 
Food and Ice Company. He was also a member of the 
Marine Board from the date of its incorporation until 
ir was superseded by the Admiralty Court. He died on 
22nd August, 1903, 

He was a man of striking personality and force of 
character, and by genuineness of sympathy inspired his 
colleagues with confidence and encouragement. 




An original shareholder in the Mercantile Mutual 
Insurance Company. Director from August 1878, re- 
signed April 1881, prior to leaving for England. 

Born in England on the 18th April, 1824, Mr. Skar- 
ratt arrived in Melbourne in 1853, having been attracted 
to Australia by the discovery of gold on the continent. 
He was in business in Victoria and New South Wales 
until 1875 and was a director of several important com- 
panies, including the Mount Morgan Gold-Mining Com- 
pany. He finally returned to England in 1893, and 
died in London, 23rd November, 1900. 

Mr. Skarratt was a man of striking personality and 
achieved success in his affairs through intelligent devotion 
to business. A fine sportsman, he won the esteem of his 
fellow-men and gave evidence of generous consideration 
Fnr others. 



RUSSELL BARTON ( 1830-1916) 

Mr RusseJl Barton was elected a Director of the 
Mercantile Mutual Insurance Company m June 1881 
and became chairman of the Company in 1904. He 
resigned the chairmanship in 1911 and retired from the 
board of the Company in 1913 through ill-health. 

Representing Bourke in the New South Wales Par- 
liament for six years (1881-86), Russell Barton's in- 
terests were mainly pastoral and mining. He won the 
esteem of his fellow-men by application of the highest 
principles to his business affairs and to his political career. 
He was a director of many companies, including the fam- 
ous Great Cobar Copper Company, and was Vice-Presi- 
dent of the Water Conservation Commission. 



THE HON. W. J, TRICKETT, M.L.C. (1843-1916) 

Was elected a director of the Mercantile Mutual 
Insurance Company m 1886 and was chairman from 1911 
until his death in July 1916. 

Mr. Trickett was born at Gibraltar on 2nd Septem- 
ber, 1843, and arrived in Sydney in 1853. He was 
educated at the Sydney Grammar School, and was ad- 
mitted a solicitor at the age of 22, shortly afterwards 
entering into partnership with the Hon. W. H. Pigott, 
M.L C. He served as Alderman and Mayor of Wool- 
lahra over a period of 33 years and was Member for 
Paddington in the N.S.W, Assembly for eight years 
(1880-88), resigning on his appointment to the Legis- 
lative Council. 

Mr. Trickett held the office of Postmaster General 
and Minister for Public Instruction in the Stuart Mini- 
stry of New South Wales ( 1883-85). He was a Trustee 
of the National Art Gallery, Vice-President of the 
Sydney Grammar School, and Trustee of the Sydney 
Cricket Ground, in addition to holding other important 
positions which constituted him a useful citizen; always 
active in work connected with the advancement of the 
State and the improvement of the condition of its people. 




An original shareholder of the Mercantile Mutual 
Insurance Co.; was a director from 1902 to 1911. He 
was born at King ton, in Herefordshire, England, and 
arrived in Sydney during 1852. He went to Victoria, 
attracted by the gold discovery, subsequently became a 
partner in Cobb & Company, and settled in Sydney. In 
1884 he became interested in the Mount Morgan Gold 
Mining Company, and retired from Cobb and Co. in 
1886, was interested in various industries. He was a 
director of the Electrolytic Refining and Smelting Com- 
pany, the Sydney Meat Preserving Company, and a 
member of the Committee of the Australian Jockey Club. 
He died on 13th October 1911. 

Mr, Hall was a man of sound judgment and strongly 
marked personality} remarkably gifted as a judge of char- 
acter, and in recognising the qualifications of those asso- 
ciated with him in business affairs. In matters of a charit- 
able nature he was liberal, and as a citizen he recognised 
and discharged his obligations and his responsibilities to 
the Empire. The "Walter and Eliza Hall" Trust was 
founded by his widow. 


BERNARD MtBRIDE (1847-1920) 

Mr. McBnde was an original shareholder of the 
Mercantile Mutual Insurance Company, and was a direc- 
tor from August 1905 until his death on 7th February, 

Born in Donegal, Ireland, on 6th February, 1847, 
Mr. McBride arrived in Sydney in 1864, For some 
years he was on the staff of Christopher Newton & Com- 
pany, and then went into business on his own account. 
He resided at Hunter's Hill, and took a keen interest 
in the borough as an alderman, serving as Mayor for 
several years. He was a member of the Council of the 
National Defence Association of Australia and did much 
towards introducing the Defence Act to this country. 

Mr McBnde was a shrewd business man, possessed 
of a deep conviction of his responsibilities and obligations 
to the country. He won the affection of his fellow men 
by the practice of the higher principles in all his affairs 
and by his sympathetic nature. 




Was elected director of the Mercantile Mutual In- 
surance Company, in 1912, and became chairman of direc- 
tors in 1928. 

Mr Gale was born in the Clarence River District 
and educated at Fort Street and Blackmore's schools. He 
was articled to the late Septimus A. Stephen and com- 
menced practice as solicitor at Moss Vale in 1 879. With 
his son, L R. Gale, he founded the firm of Gale & Gale, 
Solicitors, Sydney. He has been a director of the Aus- 
tralian General Insurance Company from the date of its 
formation and was elected its chairman in April 1928. 




Was born in April 1851 in Madras, India, where 
his father, Major-General E. H. Atkinson, of the 19th 
M.N.I., was at that time quartered. Educated at Wel- 
lington Military College, Berkshire, England, he entered 
the establishment of William Sentance, Tea Broker. 

Attracted to Australia, he arrived in Sydney in 
1872, and at once entered heartily into station life with 
his brother-in-law, P. H. Osborne, at "Currandooley." 
He became manager, and continued in that capacity until 
1880, when he entered into partnership with Hy, Hill 
Osborne, as joint-owner of "Thorndale" station, a lease- 
hold property of 150,000 acres. 

For about four years he was president of the Stock- 
Owners 5 Association and also a member of the council of 
the Pastoralists' Union for over a quarter of a century. 

In 1913 he was elected a Director of the Mercantile 
Mutual Insurance Co. 

He acted as Honorary Secretary to the New South 
Wales Bushmen's Contingent Fund raised for the dis- 
patch of the Bushmen's Contingent to take part in the 
South African War. 

He has also taken an active part for some years 
in the "Big Brother" movement, which has been instru- 
mental in bringing so many promising youths as immi- 
grants to this country. 




Mr. Marks was born at Jamberoo in the Illawarra 
district in 1865. He was educated at the Sydney Gram- 
mar School and afterwards served his articles under the 
late G Allan Mansfield, one of the original directors of 
the Mercantile Mutual, He then btudied architecture 
for two years in different countries before commencing 
the practice of his profession in Sydney in partnership 
with the late Mr. Robertson. He was elected as a 
Director of the Mercantile Mutual in 1916. 

Mr Marks is a keen sportsman, and has designed 
many of the stands and buildings at the principal race- 
courses in Sydney, Melbourne, and Bombay. He has 
also designed many fine buildings in Sydney, including 
the new Head Office of the Bank of New South Wales, 
and the present Head Office of the Mercantile Mutual, 
both of which have added to the architectural beauty of 

He has been Honorary Architect to the Sydney 
Hospital and also the South Sydney Hospital for some 
thirteen years, during which time these very necessary 
Institutions have had the benefit of his expert know- 
ledge and assistance in the interests of humanity. 




Mr. J. Hunter Stephenson was born at Redfern, 
educated at a private school at Newtown, and subse- 
quently at the University of Sydney, where he gradu- 
ated in Arts. He was articled to the late James C. 
Taylor, Public Accountant, on whose death he succeeded 
to that practice. 

He was elected a director of the Australian General 
Insurance Co. on 29th July, 1920, and of the Mercantile 
Mutual Insurance Co. on 21st June, 1928 

Mr, Stephenson took an active part in the work of 
the British Immigration League, representing the Army 
and Navy Immigration League and kindred bodies, 
which brought out over 5000 men and settled them on 
the land. He has also taken an active interest in the 
"Big Brother" movement, by which similar good work 
is being done. 



Managing 1 Directoi, Chief ICxe utive Officer from incoiJtion of Company 

to tlie sen ice 18(8 Secretary in 18994915 

Appointed to the service im Secretary 1J15-1JSS 



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